"At approximately 3 p.m. Thursday the Pima County Medical Examiner made a positive identification of the skeletal remains found in the desert near the intersection of Interstate 8 and Highway 84," according to Michael Minter, Pinal County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer. "Dental records provided by the family and the Tempe Police Department were used to identify the body of Loretta Bowersock, 69, of Tempe. The cause of death was asphyxiation."
A 5 p.m. Thursday press conference was held in Florence to provide the details of the investigation. "Following the closure of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office investigation, the case will be turned over to the Tempe Police Department for their on-going investigation," explained Minter.
Randall Johnson discovered the remains at about 4 p.m. Tuesday while walking in the desert. They were partially buried about one and a half miles southwest of the Vija Truckstop, located on Highway 84 near Stanfield.