POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (July 2, 2013)-- A skeleton that was found walled-up in a basement full of junk has been identified as a first-grade teacher who was reported missing by her husband more than 27 years ago, a medical examiner in upstate New York said.
JoAnn Nichols was reported missing in December 1985 by her husband, James, who died of natural causes in December at the age of 82.
Authorities say a contractor who was cleaning hoarded items and debris out of the Nichols home in Poughkeepsie on Friday found the bones in a sealed container behind a false basement wall.
On Monday, the Dutchess County medical examiner's office identified the remains as those of JoAnn Nichols, based on dental records.
Dr. Kari Reiber says the 55-year-old woman died from a blow to the head.
Police are investigating.