Nefataree Bartell

Remains of Missing Woman Found in Montana Mountains

The remains of a pregnant Montana woman missing in the mountains near Missoula since February 21 have been found.

Charlene Bartell, Nefataree Bartell’s mother, told Crime Stories with Nancy Grace about the discovery in a text message.

Bartell, the mother of two young sons, was last seen on a snowy day  in February when a driver gave her lift in the Gold Creek area outside Missoula. Miranda, who asked not to use her last name, told CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace that Bartell had her dog, Nova, with her, and told her she was trying to get to a cabin to meet a boyfriend.

“She told me that she was going to go up there to meet a boyfriend, who’s hitchhiking from another area that would bring him on the opposite side of Highway 200, where I picked her up. And that they were going to meet at the Premier Meadow Cabin,” Miranda said.

The problem: The cabin no longer exists, Missoula Police Detective Jeff Lloyd told NBC News, and had been demolished prior to Bartell’s disappearance.

Miranda said she was concerned — Bartell was seven months pregnant — and after dropping her off, drove to an area with cell phone reception and called the sheriff’s department, asking for a welfare check.

Bartell wasn’t found, however, but a week later, her dog, Nova, was located in the mountains and appeared to be in good health.

In an April 27 Facebook post, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office said that “a large snowpack” in the Gold Creek area that had hindered search efforts had finally thawed, and Missoula County Search and Rescue launched a foot and canine search.

This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

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[Featured image: Nefataree Bartell/Facebook]