Body Found In Grant County Is Missing Grandmother

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin

March 5, 2012 Updated Mar 5, 2012 at 11:39 PM EDT

MARION, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Skeletal remains of a body found in Grant County last month were identified Monday.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Stephen Dorsey, Grant County Coroner, say the remains are that of 74-year-old Dorothy M. Heard of Noblesville. Heard has been missing since June 14, 2011.

Dorsey says Noblesville police led a search along with Marion Police, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of Natural Resources. Noblesville Police found Heard’s skeletal remains Feb. 9 around the Mississinewa Battlefield in Grant County, along CR 600N, two miles west of SR 15 in Marion. Flyers with Heard's pictures are still posted along side roads there.

Dorsey says he does not know if Heard died in Grant County or how long her remains had been there. The torso portion that was found was delivered to the University of Indianapolis Archeology Department for biological profile and trauma analysis exams. Dorsey says he won’t receive those results for a few more weeks, which will reveal more information about her death.

A clavicle bone recovered from the scene was sent to Indiana State Police to compare DNA to Heard's toothbrush and clothing obtained from her Noblesville home. The results yielded a positive match to Heard.

Dorsey says he notified the family Monday, and says they feel bittersweet about the news.

“They are saddened that their loved one is not alive, but they are also pleased to have their Dorothy back with them, and they will have her back here shortly,” Dorsey said.

Since Noblesville Police are still conducting the investigation, Dorsey was unable to speak on further details of the situation. However, he says the main person of interest is Heard’s nephew, Donald Burns, who was reported using Heard’s cell phone and debit/credit card to purchase jewelry at a Marion Walmart and pawned three of her rings at a local shop.

Dorsey would not disclose the state in which Heard’s remains were found or if there were clues left behind. He does not know if foul play was involved.

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