The remains of Mirissa M. Serrano of Lolo, Montana, were found by a hunter near Lakeview, Idaho, on September 26th. Serrano was 27 years old. There is no word yet on the possible cause of death.
The Bonner County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Office said in a media release said that a homicide investigation is now underway.
A team of detectives from the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, the Bonner County Coroner, agents with the U.S. Forest Service, agents with Idaho State Police, and forensic scientists from the University of Montana processed the area and recovered Serrano’s body, and gathered evidence related to her disappearance.
Statements given in past interviews of people in contact with Serrano have been reviewed, and evidence is being processed by state and national labs.
Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said, “Based on new evidence recovered, the initial autopsy findings, and the forensic analysis of that evidence, this case has now turned into an active homicide investigation. I would like to thank all the agencies that have assisted us with the investigation of Mirissa’s demise.”
We will update you as we get more information.
UPDATE: Serrano vanished a year ago and was last seen in a bar in Lolo in September 2017 with 62-year old Daniel Neep. Neep told the Spokesman-Review after his arrest on an outstanding warrant that Serrano had returned with him to Spokane, where he had a rented apartment. He says she then joined him on a trip to his cabin in Lakeview, where he says Serrano started talking about coming back to Montana and left him while he was sleeping in his truck.
Serrano’s family stopped receiving her texts on September 14, 2017, and the former University of Montana student was the subject of an extensive search last fall, but no traces of her found at the time.
- Reported by Dennis Bragg