Skeletal remains found at home in Illinois identified as those of woman missing since 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Skeletal remains found at a house in Springfield have been identified as those of a woman who vanished in 2008, authorities said.

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon said a post-mortem examination that included a forensic pathologist and an anthropologist identified the remains as those of Michelle Renee “Shelly” Bianco of Springfield.

An official cause and manner of death was still pending, Allmon said Tuesday.

Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell said the case is now a death investigation and investigators are "interviewing anybody and everybody connected to the case,” The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported.

Bianco's skeletal remains were found Monday at a house in Springfield one day after police were called to the residence about “personal items” found in a crawl space. Campbell said Tuesday those items included a purse with documents with Bianco’s name on them.

Bianco was last seen on April 5, 2008, in the Springfield area. She and her cousin were walking when a man driving a black Pontiac offered Bianco a ride home, police said. Bianco was 43 at the time, Campbell said.

The cousin told police the man called Bianco by her name. A missing persons report was filed for Bianco three days after she disappeared. She would be 59 if she was still alive.