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Cops: Remains found likely Ind. woman missing since June

JAY COUNTY, Indiana -- Investigators have discovered human remains that are likely those of an Indiana woman missing since June, reports CBS affiliate WISH.

The badly decomposed remains found in a wooded area rural of Jay County Sept. 1 have been preliminary identified as Brianna Dibattiste, 25, a Dunkirk woman missing since June 16.

A cause of death was not immediately clear, reports the station. Autopsy results could take several weeks.

The search for DiBattiste spanned several locations in East Central Indiana and Ohio, reports the Star Press.

DiBattiste was known to use heroin and knew people connected to the drug trade, reports the paper, and officers have checked motels and homes known to be frequented by drug users and sellers.

Police and family said DiBattiste took no clothing or possessions with her when she vanished, and that she hasn't used her cell phone since June 16, the evening her mother last saw her at a Dunkirk convenience store.

Authorities have considered the possibility that diBattise died of a heroin overdose, and that others disposed of her body, reports the paper.

Police launched several searches in the case, including the search of a home in downtown Muncie last month. Muncie, a town about 60 miles outside of Indianapolis, is about 20 miles southwest of DiBattiste's home in Dunkirk.

Several of the searches were prompted by Curtis Ray Neal, a seven-time felon from Dunkirk who claimed knowledge about DiBattiste, reports the paper. He's now charged with obstruction of justice and giving false information that led to the searches, reports the paper.

Neal told officials he disposed of the body, but gave conflicting accounts and locations, according to the paper.

He reportedly appeared in court Tuesday to face the charges, as DiBattiste's mother wept in the courtroom gallery.

It's not clear whether a tip led to the location of DiBattiste's remains, reports the paper.

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