Human bones found 9 months ago now identified as NC mom missing for more than a year

The family of a woman in North Carolina has been searching for an explanation since she went missing in January 2018.

On Wednesday, police finally had some answers.

The New Bern Police Department identified human bones found in a wooded area nine months ago as the remains of Pamela Anderson Swindell, 54, of Ernul, according to a press release on Facebook.

“I’m posting on behalf of my Dad and Sister. Many of you know that our stepmom has been missing for a long time and we found out last night that she had passed away,” her stepdaughter, Ashton Cowan, posted on Facebook Tuesday. “Please no questions right now, just prayers.”

Police said Swindell’s death is still under investigation. Cowan pleaded for anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office.

“We all want answers, especially my Dad… and my sister,” she said on Facebook on Thursday.

Swindell, described as a white female, 5-foot-8 and 110 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes, was reported missing on Feb. 1, 2018, according to the Craven County Sheriff’s Office.

“My Mom, Pamela Swindell has been missing for over a week,” her daughter Karlie Swindell posted on Facebook shortly after the report was filed. “She was last seen on Monday, January 29th in New Bern at Rivertowne Theater and the library.”

She also said her mom had “health problems” and that the family needed to get her help.

The remains were discovered in December by city employees working on drainage ditches in a wooded area of New Bern, police said.

According to a press release, the identity of the person and how they got to that area was unknown at the time. Police said they were working with the State Medical Examiner’s Office to identify the remains.

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Screengrab from Google Maps

Swindell’s family described her as a “a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister” in an obituary Cowan posted Wednesday. A memorial service will be held Saturday.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.