Investigators and family members of a North Carolina woman did not expect to find her remains after she went missing more than a month ago.
On Thursday, police said they had found the remains of 39-year-old Allisha Watts, who was last seen on July 16.
Her boyfriend of one year, James Dunmore, was arrested on suspicion of Watts’s murder the same day, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Watts’ remains were found in a wooded area of a cemetery near the towns of Candor and Norman, Sheriff Pete Herron said.
“It’s not the result we were hoping for but if we find Allisha today … I hope and pray it brings some closure to family and friends,” Mr Herron said at a news conference.
Watts, who worked in mental health, was last seen in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 16 and her Mercedes was found two days later in Anson County, southeast of Charlotte.
According to CNN, Mr. Dunmore was found dead in the car, the county sheriff’s office said.
It is not yet clear how her remains were found and how she died.
Mr Dunmore, 51, who lives in Charlotte, was detained by police. The warrant states that he “willfully, unlawfully, willfully, and punishably killed and murdered Allisha Watts.”
He was arrested in the Charlotte area, where Watts was visiting a home on the day of her disappearance, police said.
Watts’ sister, Stephanie Johnson, told ABC News that her sister was with Mr Dunmore when she went missing. The two met when Watts drove to Charlotte to visit her cousin, Ms Johnson said.
She said of her sister that Watts was a “hardworking, independent, reliable, resourceful, loving, kind, thoughtful person.”
Police said the case “is no longer considered a missing persons investigation.”
“We didn’t pray about that,” Watts’ friend Dorothy Brower told reporters after her body was recovered.
“She was found, but that’s not how we wanted to find her. She didn’t deserve what her destiny was. Just to get rid of someone who is one of the best people you can meet,” she said.
Mr Dunmore is expected to appear in court on Monday.
“This is an ongoing and active case and investigation and there is still work to be done,” Mr Herron said.