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Authorities in Georgia have confirmed remains discovered earlier this week by hunters are those of missing mother Heather McDonald, who vanished in September.
Few details were available to be released, but the investigation into Heather’s death remains ongoing. Several organizations are assisting in the case, including the FBI.
An autopsy is scheduled for later this week.
A person of interest was named Wednesday in connection with the mother-of-three’s disappearance. Richard Harden, 57, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal’s service on October 7 on an outstanding warrant for a sex offender registry violation, according to NBC affiliate
The Marshals told
11Alive Wednesday that during the course of their investigation, they were notified that Harden is a person of interest in Heather’s September disappearance.
The Cartersville Police Department, which is leading the investigation into Heather’s disappearance, would not confirm that Harden was being held in connection with the case.
Harden, an acquaintance of Heather’s family. was reportedly on a list of people Heather’s husband, Stefan, thought police should talk to regarding the case, according to
11Alive. However, family members told the station they did not believe he had anything to do with her disappearance.
Weeks Pass with No Answers Since Disappearance of Young Mother Heather McDonald
Heather, 27, was last heard from on the night of September 18. She had spent the prior few days with a friend who lived one town over from her family’s home in Cartersville, Georgia. The following day, a police officer discovered her rented red Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot of the Courtesy Inn off US-411 near White, Georgia. The Jeep was unlocked, and Heather’s belongings were inside. Police notified Heather’s husband Stefan, who then reported her missing. The couple has been together for more than ten years and has three young daughters.
“We just want her home safely,” Stefan told Dateline earlier this week. “Someone out there knows something. Whatever happened, someone knows.”
Several different organizations, including the FBI, are assisting in the case. Earlier this week, the FBI doubled their reward to $20,000 for information leading to Heather and/or the conviction of anyone responsible in her disappearance. There is also a $4,000 reward being offered by Heather’s family for her safe return.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Cartersville Police Department at (770) 607-6227.
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