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Remains may be that of missing Bernie woman

Saturday, February 1, 2003

Daily American Republic

PUXICO, Mo. -- Preliminary findings on the human remains found near Puxico are consistent with those of a missing Bernie, Mo., woman.

According to Stoddard County Sheriff Steve Fish, the body was a white female, between the ages of 40 and 60 and probably between 5 foot to 5 foot 4 inches.

"That pretty much fits the description of the lady we've got missing," Fish said.

Claudia J. Sneed, 50, hasn't been seen since Aug. 31.

The remains were found Tuesday along a creek bank about 75 to 100 yards north of Highway T.

Dr. Michael Zaricor, a pathologist at Mineral Area Hospital in Farmington, Mo., was reportedly not able to establish a cause a death from his examination.

"He did examine the remains for anything unusual, like a bullet hole or stuff like that," Fish said. "As far as I know, he didn't find anything remarkable."

According to Fish, the next step is DNA testing, which could take up to two weeks. He said the remains will also be sent to an anthropologist in St. Louis for further examination.

Officers found no evidence of foul play at Sneed's residence after she disappeared.

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