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Authorities Find Remains While Searching For North Texas Mom

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BRAZORIA COUNTY (KRLD/CBSDFW.COM) - There has been a major development in southeast Texas, where investigators from the Denton Police Department have been digging for any physical signs or evidence possibly linked to the case of a Farmers Branch woman missing for more than 18 years.

Kelli Cox Photo

Mother and University of North Texas honor student Kelli Cox was just 20-years-old when she disappeared on July 15, 1997. The mystery began shortly after Cox, who had taken a tour of the Denton Jail with her criminology class, inadvertently locked her keys in her car. It was just before noon when she walked across the street to a gas station, used a pay phone to call her boyfriend for help, went inside, bought a soda and was never seen again.

Sources say the police officers and Texas Rangers, currently digging in a rural area of Brazoria County not far from Houston, have found bones that appear to be human remains. Cox's mother, Jan Bynum, said, "It's in the area where Reece told them he had placed Kelli. And then they find remains there. It would lead you to believe… but like I said, until they definitely show that it's Kelli I will wait to feel like totally, 'yes, this is the answer.'"

Convicted kidnapper William Reece started talking with authorities after DNA linked him to a kidnapping and murder in Oklahoma around the same time Cox went missing. Reece, who is currently serving time for a kidnapping in Harris County, is the one who told authorities about the area in Brazoria County.

Kelli Cox 1

Cox's daughter, Alexis, was 19-months-old when her mother vanished. Bynum, who said she was told about the discovery of bones last night, said she immediately got in touch with Alexis. "She is aware that they had found remains. So, I didn't want her to hear that on the news or anything like that. I did share that with her. She's more concerned about me than anything… and I know she wants those answers too."

A Medical Examiner is on the way to the dig site to determine if the remains are human and if so who they belong to. This is the second time authorities have found remains in an area where Reece told them to dig.

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