WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The body of a woman found in a western Michigan ditch has been identified 27 years later.

Authorities using DNA and genealogical tests learned that the remains were Shelly Rae Kephart, also known as Shelly Rae Christian, the Ottawa County sheriff’s office said Thursday.

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Christian was 29 in 1993 when she went missing from Hennepin County, Minnesota. Rabbit hunters discovered the remains in 1994, about 12 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“Although as investigators it’s exciting to have such a breakthrough, we want to acknowledge it’s also a sad time for the family,” Capt. Jake Sparks told The Holland Sentinel.

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Christian was the victim of a homicide. Anyone with information is urged to call (877) 887-4536.

“Until you know whose death you’re investigating, it’s very, very difficult to do an investigation,” Sparks said. “Maybe we have someone who steps forward and says, ‘Yes, I knew her,’ an old roommate or coworker who can provide some answers, and we can try to drill down into it and figure out who was in her life at the time.”

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