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Identifying Skeletal Remains Could Take Weeks

Last updated on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(GRANT COUNTY) - Identifying skeletal remains believed to be those of a missing Noblesville woman could take several weeks, the Grant County coroner said Tuesday.

The remains were found Thursday in a field at the Mississinewa Battlefield on County Road 600 North near Marion after a tip in the case of Dorothy Heard, 74, who was last seen June 13.

A preliminary examination of the torso did not reveal a cause of death or foul play, authorities said.

The remains have been turned over to the University of Indianapolis' Department of Archeology, where experts will work to determine the gender and approximate age of the deceased, along with how long the remains had been outside.

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.

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

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