Heather Brianna Marie Wilkins Found Deceased
Remains found of teenager missing for nine months
By The Associated Press
LIVINGSTON - Authorities here said Monday they have recovered the remains of a teenage girl missing since January.
A medical examiner in Billings identified the remains on Sunday as those of Heather "Brianna" Wilkins, 17, of Livingston.
Police Chief Darren Raney said her remains were found Saturday afternoon in Sweet Grass County, near the Yellowstone River west of Big Timber.
Raney said an initial investigation at the scene turned up no evidence of foul play, but more thorough forensic examinations were planned.
Raney said the remains were found on private land in a wooded area along the south side of the Yellowstone River.
"The remains were high enough above the watermark line it was determined to have not been transported by the river, " Raney said.
According to authorities, a deputy responding to a call from a citizen found Wilkins walking on a rural road near Livingston at about 2 a.m. on Jan. 11 and gave the girl a ride back to town.
Wilkins' mother, Chera Walsh told authorities that her daughter left the house again at about 10 a.m. that same day and never returned.
Searches turned up no trace of Wilkins. Over the past nine months, Livingston law enforcement received reports of unconfirmed sightings of Wilkins, from all over the country.
"It's a tragic outcome. We were all hoping she would come home safe," Raney said.
Walsh had initially reported her daughter left the house for a solitary spiritual journey.
"I don't think it was her intention to die," she said. "She was in a very spiritual space."