DENVER - The family of Amy Ahonen, a local woman missing since July 2011, says an outside agency has confirmed body parts found in metro Denver have been identified as hers.
A family member told 7NEWS Reporter Marc Stewart that the 38-year-old's remains were found in two separate locations in metro Denver, although the Denver Police Department said that the DNA was only a "possible" match to Ahonen.
According to Jon Cline, an investigator with the Jefferson County Coroner's Office, in November 2013, the Coroner's Office was provided with a human bone from the Wheat Ridge Police Department that was found along Clear Creek near Marshall Street.
The bone was then sent to Texas for a DNA test, where it was positively identified as a match to Ahonen.
Cline told 7NEWS that the Adams County Coroner's Office also tested a bone fragment, which has been linked to Ahonen as well.
"I was actually trying to keep hope alive -- that she was still alive. Now that those hopes have been crushed, I don't know what to think," said her sister Annette Ahonen from her home in Michigan. "She was the type of person who could light up a room and she had a lot of friends and was always the friend who was there with people and helping out in any she could."
Ahonen's 2005 black Jeep Liberty was found soon after her disappearance, unlocked on the Highway 6 West corridor at mile marker 264, between Golden and Interstate 70. She left her belongings inside including the keys in the console, her purse under the seat and her hiking backpack in the vehicle.
Volunteers have focused their search for Ahonen at nearby Centennial Cone Park.
"We appreciate all the love and support. And it's just been a blessing to know that many people care about Amy and about us," said Annette Ahonen.
While some have speculated that Ahonen may have gone for a hike, her sister, Andrea, was not convinced.
"She is a hiker, but I don't think she would go far alone," Andrea Ahonen told ABC NEWS. The backpack contained her sister's Swiss army knife and her first aid kit, which Andrea doesn't think Amy would have left behind during a hike.
No one has been charged in Ahonen's disappearance, according to Raquel Lopez with the Denver Police Department.
Lopez said no agency has officially been assigned the case, but that one agency is involved. She told 7NEWS that the case has not been classified as a homicide.