A contractor working in the basement of a New York home removed a false wall to discover the remains of woman considered missing nearly 30 years.
Authorities identified the nearly complete skeleton as the body of JoAnn Nichols, a first-grade teacher who vanished in December 1985, WABC reports.
The body was found Friday night in a large container in the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., home where Nichols once lived with her husband. James Nichols, who passed away last December at age 82, reported his wife missing on Dec. 21, 1985, when she didn't arrive for a beauty parlor appointment, according to NBC New York.
The Dutchess County Medical Examiner determined Nichols' death a homicide and said that she suffered blunt force trauma to the head.
“JoAnn had that Southern class, she had a sense of refinement to her, so Jim must have been the dominant one,” Bill Emigh, a former restaurant manager who knew the couple, told the Poughkeepsie Journal. He added that he "definitely suspected" James Nichols had some responsibility for his wife's disappearance.
Local police said they will “continue the investigation by further examination of the case and new forensic evidence,” according to the Journal News.