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Remains of woman missing more than a year discovered in Pope County

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POPE COUNTY, Ill. (WSIL) -- The remains of a missing Harrisburg woman were recently discovered in Pope County, not far from where she was last seen.

Kimberly Stewart-Whittington was reported missing in September of 2019, with several searches by authorities and volunteers coming up empty.

Pope County Sheriff Jerry Suits confirmed his department was called to the woods near the Saline and Pope County lines, after a deer hunter and his sons discovered those remains.

Stewart's daughter says, there is no DNA confirmation yet, but all other evidence points to the remains being her missing mother.

"It's been a difficult 14 months, but being able to lay her to rest and knowing, just knowing that we found her and located her," says Sabrina Stewart, Kimberly's daughter.

Sabrina says articles found, dental records and other health-related identifications provided the evidence to confirm it's her mother.

"There's just so many unanswered questions that I'd like," says Sabrina. "If somebody has information at all, I just wish that they'd come forward with it."

The family is in the process of making funeral arrangements and say they are "greatly thankful" for all those who helped in her search.

According to Sheriff Suits, the Illinois State Police were called to the location to assist in the investigation. They took possession of the remains and will complete the investigation. No foul play is suspected at this time. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Joe Rehana

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