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Search continues for missing Army wife as charred skeleton discovered near highway determined to belong to another victim

Authorities had said they were ‘cautiously optimistic’ the remains belonged to Andreen McDonald

Police said charred skeletal remains discovered Thursday in a wooded area near a highway doesn’t belong to a Texas mother who was reported missing early last month.

From WOAI, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that the remains found 75 to 100 yards off Highway 211 between Culebra and Bandera belong to a female who is much shorter than Andreen McDonald, 29. Officials said the body discovered Thursday is between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4; McDonald is 6-foot tall.

KTSA reported that the race of the decedent is currently unknown due to the state of the body. The sheriff’s office has asked anyone who noticed anything suspicious in Government Canyon Park to come forward, as they believe a large fire was used to burn the body.

Law enforcement reportedly said they are conducting DNA testing but identifying the body could take months.

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“We were cautiously optimistic at the possibility it might be Andreen,” sheriff Javier Salazar told the news station. “They’re pretty definite it’s not Andreen McDonald that was located.”

McDonald was reported missing on March 1 after she didn’t come to work. According to court documents obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, two friends went to authorities after discovering a burn pile in the back of the McDonalds’ home and blood and hair on a light switch located inside the couple’s master bedroom. A search of the home reportedly also uncovered human blood in the bathroom.

Andre McDonald, 40, was previously jailed on suspicion of evidence tampering for allegedly destroying two receipts which showed he bought an ax, shovel, heavy-duty trash bags, work gloves, and gasoline around the time of his wife’s disappearance. KENS reported that authorities believe Andre was planning to dispose of his 29-year-old wife’s body but didn’t have the chance to do so.

Andre, an Air Force major, was released from custody last week after his bond was reduced from $2 million to $20,000. He is currently under full house arrest and was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device. He’s due back in court on April 24.

Salazar said, “While we remain resolute to continue the search for Andreen, and to find closure for her family, we now have another family and we need to identify this victim.”

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[Featured image: Andre and Andreen McDonald/Facebook]