Authorities ID woman's torso found at rest stop in Warren County - KMOV.com

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Authorities ID woman's torso found at rest stop in Warren County in 2004

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Deanna Howland's torso was found on June 28, 2004 (Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Department) Deanna Howland's torso was found on June 28, 2004 (Credit: Warren County Sheriff's Department)

WARREN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Authorities have identified a woman’s torso that as found in Warren County, Missouri in 2004.

Tuesday, the Warren County Sheriff's Office said the torso found belonged to Deanna D. Howland of Alton, Illinois.  

Howland’s torso was found by a maintenance worker who was trimming brush in the rest area along Interstate 70 near mile marker 199 on June 28, 2004.

In the years since the remains were found, the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated three times to re-evaluate the case and process any new leads and information.

In early 2015, Warren County Lt. Matt Schmutz began communicating with Madison County Illinois Sheriff’s detectives on a possible missing person case. The collaboration led to a DNA sample being tested at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Lab to screen a subject from Illinois against the torso as a possible sibling, according to officials in Warren County.

Earlier this year, the lab reported initial tests showed similarities. Officials obtained samples from more family members and concluded the torso belonged to Howland, who would have been 35 years old at the time her remains were found.

Roger Mauzy, former Warren County Coroner said, “It’s been disheartening for several years obviously, but like I said, I couldn’t be happier now that she’s been identified.”

According to the Major Case Squad, Howland was a known prostitute and user of illegal drugs who was known to frequent areas in Granite City and East St. Louis. Officials also said she may have been known by the following names due to previous marriages: Deanna Denise Froehlich, Deanna Denise Kinnear, and Deanna Denise Barker.

The Major Case Squad and investigators from Missouri and Illinois are currently working on the case.

“Hopefully we can put a successful conclusion to what is a very brutal murder,” said Sheriff John Lakin of Madison County.

Anyone with information or knowledge of Howland, or any possible circumstances surrounding her disappearance should contact the Warren County Department at 636-456-4332, the Madison County Illinois Sheriff’s Department at 618-692-0871, or the St. Louis Regional Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-866-371-8477.

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