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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say remains found in Pender County last month are a Leland woman missing since last year.

WPD says the Medical Examiner’s Office in Greenville determined the remains found April 29 off Hoover Road near Hampstead are the remains Elisha Marie Tucker, 34.

Tucker’s mother reported her missing on October 21, 2013. She was last seen in the 1500 block of Dawson Street in August of last year. Police are investigating this case as a homicide.

WPD refused to answer any questions regarding the ongoing investigation, including how long Tucker’s body may have been buried.

Police initially believed the remains could have been Shannon Rippy Vannewkirk, who went missing from downtown Wilmington in early April. Police charged James Opelton Bradley with Vannewkirk’s murder. They soon realized they belonged to someone else. Bradley is still charged with the murder, and investigators say he is a person of interest in Tucker’s death.

Lt. Tom Witkowski says the search for Vannewkirk continues.

Anyone with information on this case are asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3609 or Text-A-Tip information to CRIMES then Type Tip708 then your message.

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