Hikers Find Skeleton of Missing Woman

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CORAL SPRINGS, Florida -- July 7, 2012

Authorities say a fully clothed skeleton found in the woods by hikers belongs to a South Florida woman who vanished nearly four months ago.

Two hikers found the skeleton Thursday along a remote trail in a Coconut Creek park. Dental records were used to confirm that the remains belonged to Maria Claudia Murphy of Coral Springs.

Murphy was last seen in March on a street corner in Coconut Creek after apparently walking from a restaurant parking lot near Coral Springs, about four miles away. Murphy's sister, Martha Valderrama, tells the Sun Sentinel that it's still not clear what made Murphy leave her car and begin walking.

Police say the medical examiner will determine a cause of death, including whether foul play was involved.

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