Remains found in November 2017 by hunters in Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee have been identified as Veronica Casciato, 48, a mother and college student who last seen seven months before.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that partial skeletal remains found in a remote area of Eagle Gap were identified as Casciato's through DNA comparison.
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The bureau did not say if foul play was considered a factor in her death, saying the investigation remained active.
As NBC's "Dateline" has reported, Casciato was last seen on April 6, 2017, leaving the Harrogate campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where she was working toward a degree in social work. When she missed a scheduled field trip with her class, the instructor called her husband, Steve.
Concern quickly grew when Casciato didn’t return home that night or the next day, as had been expected. A few days later, on April 20, her Toyota Corolla was found just off Highway 165 in Eagle Gap.
“It just feels like loss — like the hole that was already in your life and your heart from V's absence just got bigger because now we know for sure that V won't be coming back. Even now, it seems unfathomable,” the post states. “Veronica was so funny and sweet and unassuming, immensely passionate and talented. She wanted so badly to make the world a better place, but she already did... just by being V.”
Anyone with any information regarding Veronica Casciato’s case can call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at (615) 744-4000.
Bianca Hillier covers missing person and homicide cases for NBC News.