By Ron Barnett, Greenville News
LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (GreenvilleOnline)- Authorities have identified human remains found in a wooded area of Laurens County as those of a grandmother who had been missing since last summer, the coroner said.
A forensics team from the State Law Enforcement Division matched the bones and skull with X-rays of Dorothy Madden, 76, of Boyce Padge Road, Honea Path, said Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols.
The remains were found 500-600 yards from her home, he said.
"There was no indication of any foul play involved," he said.
Madden suffered from Alzheimer's and was known to wander off occasionally, he said.
The remains were found down a ravine, on the side of a hill in thick undergrowth, he said.
"Apparently she had just sat down by a tree,got tired maybe, and tried to find her way out," Nichols said.
Madden had been reported missing on July 14.
Her pocketbook was found in the area late Saturday, and deputies used dogs to locate the remains Sunday, said Lt. Judy Stiles of the Laurens County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities had searched the area for more than a week when Madden was reported missing but were unable to find anything, she said.
Determining her cause of death is impossible, Nichols said.
She was positively identified by X-rays of a metal piece in her back, he said.
"Maybe this will bring some closure to this family that's been wondering for six months," he said.