Maranda Merrell

Search Called Off for Missing Woman After Human Remains Found Near Where She Disappeared

The searcher for a missing woman who disappeared last May has been suspended after human remains were found near where her ATV was found last November.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maranda Merrell Neal, 38, disappeared on May 22 after taking an ATV from her home to visit her mother’s grave at a nearby cemetery. Police searched the area and found nothing, but in November a hunter reported finding an ATV.

Police determined the vehicle belonged to Neal and expanded their search area.

A crew with a search and rescue K9 found the remains and some items of clothing in an area of thick vegetation about a half mile from where the ATV was found, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday.

The remains have been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for analysis and identification, but investigators said that based on “location, condition, and other circumstances,” they believe they belong to Neal.

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[Featured image: Maranda Merrell Neal/Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office]