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'It's a big unknown': Remains of missing Elkhart County mother found

Nearly two years after she disappeared, Elkhart police say they've found the remains of Anastacia Cortes Reyes.

What police don't know is exactly what happened to her. It might be a while before police know for sure, because the only thing left was her skeleton. An anthropologist will now have to examine each bone to try and figure out how she died.

"It's a big unknown and that's what really makes this case unusual and kind of strange, that we can put her at one point in 2014 and the kind of unknown until now," said Sgt. Chris Snyder with the Elkhart Police Department. "So that's a big gap we have to make up."

Even after finding the remains of Anastacia Cortes Reyes, there are still many questions that need to be answered.

"At this point, we really don't know that a crime has been committed," said Sgt. Snyder. "That's something that will have to come out as we get more and more pieces then we'll be able to put those together to figure out if a crime did happen and if so what led to that crime happening."

But police do say a lot of things suggest a crime.

Cortes was last seen at a grocery store in Elkhart in August 2014. Police say there's reason to believe she made it home from there, but her husband reported her missing on August 28th.

Shortly after that, investigators found her burned van behind a factory in Wakarusa.

Then, nothing until her remains were found on Tuesday.

"Now we know where the remains were found and that gives us another point, so we can kind of work backwards from there to find out what happened," said Snyder.

As police retrace their steps, they're asking for the public's help in trying to figure out what happened.

"It might spark something and they might not have put together that something happened in Bristol or now they know something they heard happened in Bristol ties back to Elkhart," said Snyder. "So hopefully we'll get something, maybe some new witnesses that can come forward and say 'Hey I heard this,' or 'I saw this.'"

Right now, the case is being treated as a death investigation -- not a criminal or homicide investigation, but that could change.

Police say need to wait for those tests to come back to try and figure out how Cortes died.

Elkhart Police say if you have any information give them a call.

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