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Bodies may be kids missing two years

Father admitted killing then burying children along Ohio Turnpike

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Manuel Gehring with Philip, 11, and Sarah, 14, in a photo released by Concord, New Hampshire, police.

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(CNN) -- Two bodies found along the Ohio Turnpike may be those of two New Hampshire children allegedly killed by their father, the FBI said Friday.

A woman walking her dog found the bodies about 4 p.m. Thursday near a willow tree in Hudson, Ohio, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Akron, authorities said. Police waited until Friday to search the area.

The bodies were taken to the Summit County, Ohio, coroner's office, and authorities were on their way there with dental records to assist in identifying the bodies, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin said Friday at a news conference.

It could take "days or weeks" for the medical examiner to make an identification, he said. (Watch what authorities have to say about Friday's discovery -- 1:58)

Manuel Gehring reportedly told police in 2003 that he shot Sarah, 14, and Philip, 11, with a 9 mm handgun on July 4, 2003, after pulling over on a New Hampshire road.

Gehring said he drove to a Wal-Mart in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and bought a shovel, pick axe, scissors, plastic sheeting, duct tape and cutting blades, according to an affidavit.

He then took the children to "an unknown location along Interstate 80 in Ohio," also known as the Ohio Turnpike, and dug two shallow graves about three miles from the highway, the affidavit states.

It also states that Gehring "told police that he said a prayer, fashioned a cross made of duct tape across the chest of both children, and buried them in shallow graves."

He was arrested six days later in Gilroy, California, and charged with interference with child custody. Gehring waived extradition and was returned to New Hampshire, where police later charged him with murder.

Gehring hanged himself in jail last year.

There are several facts about the discovery that are consistent with Gehring's confession, including the location, the description of the burial site and the presence of crosses, Strelzin said.

"It certainly sounds like some of the things he's told us are consistent," he said.

Gehring had later insisted that his confession was coerced. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder but killed himself before his trial began.

Police searched Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois for the children's bodies after they disappeared following a Fourth of July fireworks display that they attended with their father.

Police in Concord, New Hampshire, told Gehring's ex-wife, Teri Knight, about the bodies.

Knight, who has spent considerable hours searching for her children's remains, told CNN that she will await DNA results.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim contributed to this report

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