Video: Body of missing college student found

updated 7/11/2007 10:06:33 AM ET 2007-07-11T14:06:33

A decomposed body found in a densely wooded area is that of a college student who vanished last month, a coroner confirmed late Tuesday.

The body found Monday morning was identified as Kelly Nolan, a 22-year-old University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student, Dane County Coroner John Stanley said in a statement.

Additional forensics tests were expected to continue for several weeks. Stanley said no ruling would be made on the cause of death until then. Officials have said previously they were treating the case as a possible homicide.

Nolan vanished early June 23 after a night of drinking at bars in downtown Madison, where she was living for the summer. She separated from her friends and was seen at several bars after midnight before she vanished.

Police said cell-phone technology led them to conduct Monday’s massive search in a wooded area 10 miles south of Madison, which involved more than 100 officers and canines trained to recognize Nolan’s scent.

The discovery of the body in a wooded area on private property led police to reclassify the case from a missing-persons investigation to a homicide probe.

“Hopefully this forensic information coupled together with the tips that are coming in will lead us to a suspect,” police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.

Nolan’s family, including her mother and two sisters, asked the media Tuesday to refrain from contacting them. The family had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return.

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