SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – UPDATE 3/19/19 @ 5:58 p.m.
The remains of a missing woman from Portsmouth have been identified. She is Rebecca Kerns, 26, known to most as Becky.
She'd been last seen at her home in Portsmouth in October.
Her sister Sammie Kerns said she wants justice. The two were four years apart in age but two peas in a pod.
"Me and her is really, really close,” Kerns said. “We're best friends, too, so we've been through everything together."
Becky had been last seen on Oct. 6, leaving an upstairs apartment in the 1900 block of 11th Street, one of Portsmouth's main drags. She lived there with her 1-year-old daughter, Tionna Mabry, and her mother.
Sammie had seen her the day before.
"Said I'll be back and never came back,” she said. “I'm glad we found her. I just wish it was alive."
Sammie loves looking through all the pictures, but it also makes her miss her all the more these five months.
She remembers Becky’s trademark smile, her love of shopping, willingness to say anything to anyone and her big heart.
"Everybody loved her,” said Kerns, choking up. “Never a dull moment."
Those traits now found Tionna, who is now 2.
"Her smile would light up the room."
Becky's body was found Thursday along state Route 522, about 4 miles from Wheelersburg and more than 20 minutes from home.
She'd been here awhile, only identified through dental records.
Investigators believe her body was dumped here, but there no obvious signs of trauma. Her remains have been sent to Montgomery County for an autopsy.
Until they get answers, there's no closure.
"We want closure to come to a conclusion how she got there," said Capt. John Murphy with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.
Sammie said Becky had been fighting her own demons and drug addiction since she was about 15 years old. Clean for about a year, she believes her sister had fallen back into bad habits within the last month before disappearance.
She knows answers won't bring Becky back, she just wants to know.
"I think somebody knows something,” she said. “I just want justice."
Detectives ask anyone with information to call the Scioto County Sheriff's Office. At minimum, someone could be charged with abuse of a corpse, which is a felony.
UPDATE 3/19/19 @ 1:30 p.m.
Human remains found last week in a field along state Route 522 in Wheelersburg have been identified as a woman reported missing to Portsmouth Police last October, the Scioto County Sheriff's Office says.
Rebecca Lee Kerns, 26, is identified as the victim.
Kerns' remains were found last Thursday along the 5400 block of state Route 522.
Deputies say the case will be a joint investigation between the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and Portsmouth Police. They say the investigation will focus on how Kerns ended up along state Route 522 and what the cause of death was.
ORIGINAL STORY 3/14/19
Human remains were found Thursday in Wheelersburg, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office says.
They were discovered in a field along the 5400 block of state Route 522.
Deputies received a call from a person who believed they had found a person’s remains.
Investigators say it appears the remains had been at that location for some time. Those remains have been taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. An autopsy will be performed to help determine the person’s ID and a possible cause of death.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the death and how the remains ended up on that property.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 740-354-7316. Information will be kept confidential and anonymous.