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Missing bones of murdered Missouri woman found in classroom

Nashville, TN. A crowd gathers outside of Steve McNair's apartment after learning of his death. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson)
AP Photo, file
Missing bones of murdered Missouri woman found in classroom
AP Photo, file

(CBS/AP) PINEVILLE, Mo. - The discovery of missing bones connected to a 1990 murder in southwest Missouri is raising hope that the case could be solved.

McDonald County detective Lorie Howard says the bones turned up three weeks ago at the University of Arkansas.

An unidentified woman's decomposed body was found in 1990 near an abandoned house near Pineville. The Joplin Globe reports that the bones were sent 20 years ago to an anthropologist at the University of Arkansas for analysis.

The anthropologist's successor realized recently that bones being used for teaching were the woman's remains.

Howard reopened the investigation into the case three years ago. Before the bones were found, the only evidence was clothing, shoes and some bindings found with the body.

Howard says the DNA in the bones could finally help identify the victim.