On a spring day more than a decade ago, Margaret A. Unger, 64, walked into the woods near her home and was never seen alive again.
On Wednesday, Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said bones found a quarter mile from her home in March have been DNA tested and are Unger’s remains.
The sheriff’s office was contacted just before 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 22, after a resident reported finding human remains on their property. After deputies confirmed the remains were human bones, detectives and crime scene investigators conducted a search of the wooded area.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol database of missing persons, Margaret A. Unger had been missing since April 19, 2010. She was last seen walking into a wooded area near her home on Turkey Run Road, according to the poster on the site’s database.
A Federal Bureau of Investigations poster on Unger’s case said that on the morning of April 19, 2010, her husband, Ray Unger, told authorities the then-64-year-old had taken off the robe she had been sleeping in, put on a T-shirt and shorts, and walked outside without shoes or socks.
She then walked away from the house and into the woods. Her husband followed her, but lost track and reported her missing, according to the report.
At the time Margaret Unger was reported missing, her husband told authorities she had not taken her medicine as scheduled and had a history of mental illness. Margaret Unger also had a heart condition that required medication.
An extensive search was conducted at the time, but she was never located.
During the initial investigation, then-Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke urged landowners in the area to search their property. Toelke said Unger suffered from schizophrenia and he believed she was trying to avoid people, according to The Missourian’s archives.
Toelke said during the investigation that no foul play was suspected.