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Human Remains Could Be Missing Noblesville Woman

Last updated on Friday, February 10, 2012

(MARION) - Human remains found in a Marion field could be those of a 74-year-old Noblesville woman who has been missing for nearly eight months, police said.

At a news conference in Marion on Thursday night, Noblesville police said investigators received information last week concerning the case of Dorothy Heard, who was was last seen June 13.

Investigators searched the Mississinewa River on Friday, Tuesday and Thursday, an area they had previously searched last summer.

Just after 11 a.m. Thursday, police said they located an area believed to contain human remains in a field at the Mississinewa Battlefield on County Road 600 North, about two miles west of State Road 15.

"On Thursday, Feb. 2, investigators from the Noblesville Police Department received information that we believed to be relevant to the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Dorothy Heard," Lt. Bruce Barnes said.

"We always knew this to be a point of interest. That being said, when we do come across human remains, we think that there might be a possibility that there may be a connection," Barnes said.

Police said no identification of the remains has been made.

Heard's daughter, Lou Ann Sylvester, told the Grant County Chronicle-Tribune that the family was notified Thursday evening that a body had been found.

Neighbor Mollie Hiatt said she hoped the best for Heard's family.

"It's just been horrible to know she was only two houses away and she just disappeared. I know the family is wanting closure and I just want them to have closure," Hiatt said.

Heard's nephew, Donald Burns, 47, was arrested shortly after she disappeared after he tried to get away from officers who were trying to question him, police said.

It was later determined that he used Heard's credit card and tried to sell her ring the day she vanished, police said.

He has not been charged in connection with her disappearance.

"Burns is still a person of interest, and that's simply where he's still at as far as our investigation goes," Barnes said.

Heard's 10-year-old great-granddaughter was snatched from her Tipton neighborhood on the same day, but police previously said they don't think Burns was involved.

Noblesville police said officers would remain at the scene overnight to secure the area and that the Grant County Coroner's Office would take over the investigation today.

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