(WILLISTON, N.D.) — Investigators believe they have found the body of a Montana teacher who went missing while out for a jog on the morning of Jan. 7.
“While a positive identification has not been made at this time, it is believed the remains are those of Sherry Arnold,” said a statement by David Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Division and Frank DiFonzo, the police chief in Arnold’s hometown of Sidney, Mont.
On Tuesday, agents from an FBI evidence response team and local police began to recover the remains of a female found near Williston, N.D., the statement said. Williston is about 45 miles from Sidney.
The remains are being sent to a lab to confirm the identity and police said they would not release any further details.
“We want to thank God for all the amazing people and their prayers, help and continued support in bringing Sherry home to her family,” Arnold’s aunt, Janet Earhardt, told ABC News Wednesday.
Two Colorado men are in custody in Arnold’s disappearance, charged with aggravated kidnapping.
The location of the body across the state line from where the kidnapping occurred means there could be federal charges against the two suspects in the case, Michael Keith Spell, 22, and Lester Van Waters Jr., 47, both of Parachute, Colo.
Spell and Waters pleaded not guilty last month to one count each of aggravated kidnapping during an arraignment in state district court in Sidney. They face a possible death sentence under Montana law if convicted.
Court documents filed by the prosecutor in the case indicate Spell has confessed to a role in a crack-fueled abduction and presumed killing of Arnold. Authorities have said Spell attempted to take FBI agents to the site but could not find it.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Wayne Drash, CNN
Jon Ostrower and Ralph Ellis, CNN