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Skull Used to ID Woman Missing Since 1974Salem-News.com
A woman missing for decades, will finally be laid to rest.
(ALBANY, Ore.) - Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller reports that his detectives have recently matched a skull discovered in 1979 with the victim of a car crash that occurred in 1974. The victim's family was notified of the identification on March 30, 2010.
The victim, Samilla Stewart of Sweet Home, was last seen approximately 8:30 pm on December 13, 1974 when she took her brother lunch at his workplace in Cascadia. She was 36 years old.
Three days later her vehicle, a 1960 Chevrolet Impala, was found in the Santiam River at Moose Creek and Highway 20 in Cascadia.
Both the Oregon State Police and the Linn County Sheriff's Office responded to the area and searched for Samilla.
She was not found.
Investigators at the time suspected that Samilla's car had slid off the road and landed in the water.
In April 1975, the Sheriff's Office and OSP searched again on land and by boat from the area of Moose Creek to the head of Foster Reservoir.
Samilla was not located.
On April 29, 1979, two men fishing at Canyon Creek and the South Santiam River found a skull in sand about six to eight feet from the water and about a mile and a half downstream from where Samilla's vehicle had gone into the river.
Another search was conducted but nothing was found. Detectives attempted to get dental records for Samilla to identify the skull as being her remains.
No records were found because her dental office had purged its records.
In 2008, two of Samilla's children provided DNA samples to detectives so that they could once again try and match the skull to Samilla.
The skull was sent away for an anthropology analysis and eventually went to the University of North Texas, National Missing Persons Program.
In March 2010, the Sheriff's Office was notified that the skull had been confirmed as the remains of Samilla Stewart.
Aasum Funeral Home in Albany will be handling arrangements.
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