Remains found at a Broward County park are identified as those of a missing woman, but questions remain about what happened to her.
Maria Claudia Murphy, 45, was last seen alive on March 16. Surveillance video showed her walking away from her car that day, leaving it in a parking lot with her purse inside. She was then spotted walking by a gas station camera, then again by a bus camera, still walking near Copans Road and U.S. 441. Then, she vanished.
For nearly four months, neighbors have been handing out fliers, and her husband and family have been making pleas on television. Then, on Thursday, hikers exploring off the beaten path at Tradewinds Park found skeletal remains that have since been identified as Murphy's.
"As of right now, it all adds up to us because we actually last saw her at Copans and Lyons Road on the northeast corner, and the location where she was found was approximately 300 yards northeast from where we last saw her," said Lt. Joe McHugh, of the Coral Springs Police Department.
Police said they had searched there before.
"We actually had a cadaver dog out there approximately two days later. However, the cadaver dog did not respond to a deceased body at that time," McHugh said.
Family members are gathering at the home Murphy shared with her husband and son. Her husband, Frank, rushed back from out of town after hearing her body had been found.
"It's all just bringing our emotions back again. They just found her body. Let us come together. We'll make a statement as a family," said Murphy's brother-in-law, Ed Murphy. "Respect our privacy. We'll come out as a family and make a statement."
The cause of Maria Claudia Murphy's death, and the identity of the person responsible, if anyone, are unclear.