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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Detectives have determined that a body discovered Friday afternoon in the Love Grove community is that of an 83-year-old woman who disappeared in November.
Alma Lawson's remains were found one mile from where she went missing in November.
The conclusion of the body's identity was based on the age, sex, race and height of the body found, along with clothing and other personal items found at the scene, according to Wilmington police.
An autopsy proved that the cause of death was an accidental drowning.
As part of a WPD-organized search Friday, students from a basic law enforcement class found a personal item that may have belonged to Lawson. That, in turn, led to other items being found down the hill next to the railroad track.
From there, searchers saw a body in a ravine, partially submerged in water. They cut through thick vegetation to get to it.
Lawson was reported missing by her son, Ahmed Rashed, after she didn't make it home from a friend's house on Stanley Street.
According to Rashed, Lawson had early on-set dementia and was not acting like herself the day she never returned home. He said the day she went missing she had decided not to go to church, which Rashed said was out of character for Lawson.
Several agencies, including the CUE Center for Missing Persons, participated in the initial searches.
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