Skeletal remains identified as missing woman

Brandi Mathews went missing two years ago.

Update Jan. 14:

Miller County authorities say Brandi Mathews' boyfriend at the time of her disappearance is now a person of interest in her death investigation.

Her ex-boyfriend, Kelly Simino, 41, is currently in the Miller County Jail, held without bond. He's been there since Thursday Jan. 8, when he was picked up on an outstanding probation and parole warrant. Ironically, the arrest came on the same day Brandi's remains were identified

Simino has not been charged with anything connected to Brandi's death or her dissapearance.

For more information, click on the link below, "Police identify 'person of interest' in Brandi Mathews' case."

Update Jan. 8:

Forensic investigators, using dental records, have positively identified a human skull found last weekend under a bridge in Eldon as that of Brandi Mathews - a woman missing for over two years.

"It's a crying shame," said Eldon resident Mark Hoffman. "And it never should have happened."

Mathews was just 22 when she dissapeared back in September of 2006. She was last seen on her way from Arkansas to the Lake area. Even now, her missing poster still hangs up at one area restaurant.

On Jan. 3, Mathews' remains were found underneath a bridge in Eldon, next to a shallow creek. Dark hair and teeth found at the scene helped Columbia investigators make the positive match.

"I'm glad they found out who it belonged to," said Charles Farley, whose son found the remains walking his dog.

Mathews had worked as a dancer, reportedly under the name "Faith," to help support her 18-month-old son. It's also believed she was involved with drugs at the time of her disappearance.

While authorities have positively identified the remains, they aren't sure how she died. They're looking at any and all leads but won't say if they have any suspects.

"We're going to take it slowly," said Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott at an afternoon news conference Thursday. "So we don't overlook anything."

Investigators will continue to comb the nearby creek where Mathews' remains were found to look for clues. They say foul play can't be ruled out.

The investigation is now in the hands of Miller County authorities, who will be assisted by Osage Beach and Moniteau County. The Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force is also helping out with the investigation.

Mathews' remains are still being examined and will be turned over to her family "at a later date." Abbott said he contacted Mathews' mother, who was relieved to know her daughter's remains had been found.

"It's really sad," said Eldon resident Carol Farley. "But I am glad it's over for the family."

Original Story:

Authorities identified bones found under a bridge outside Eldon as those of a missing lake-area dancer.

The word came at an afternoon news conference held by Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott.

Abbott says the remains of Brandi Mathews were identified by dental records. Matthews was 22 when she went missing, and would have been 25 now.

Abbott was notified by forensic investigators of the positive identification at 1:15 p.m. Thursday. He then contacted Brandi Mathews' mother, who lives in Arkansas, and said she was relieved to hear her daughter's remains had been found.

Mathews was first reported missing in September of 2006. At the time, she was 24 years old and working as a dancer in Osage Beach.

Mathews' skull and a few bones were found Saturday under a bridge near a creek in Eldon. Police won't say how she died, but have called in additional law enforcement officers to investigate