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Texas cold case closed after body discovered in drying lake is ID'd

By Suzanne Presto and Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 8:47 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Helen Holladay went missing in 1979.
Helen Holladay went missing in 1979.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • For 35 years, what happened to Helen Holladay had been a mystery
  • Last week, a truck containing skeletal remains was found in a drought-affected lake
  • A forensic anthropologist used dental records to determine it was Holladay

(CNN) -- A 35-year-old cold case in Texas came to an end this week when the skeletal remains of a body found in a drought-affected lake were determined to be that of a woman who went missing in 1979.

A forensic anthropologist used dental records to determine the remains found last week in a pickup in Lake Granbury were those of Helen Holladay, the Hood County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The vehicle identification number on the truck matched that of Holladay's vehicle. CNN affiliate WFAA reported the truck was just feet from the shoreline.

The vehicle identification number on the truck matched that of Holladay\'s vehicle.
The vehicle identification number on the truck matched that of Holladay's vehicle.

Holladay was 45 when she went missing. WFAA said she disappeared after a fight with her husband, who is now dead. No one was charged in the case.

Lt. Johnny Rose of the Sheriff's Office told CNN on Monday that authorities searched the lake for about one month in 1996.

On Thursday, a Granbury city employee saw part of the truck sticking out of the water and called authorities.

Hood County is just southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

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