Human Remains Found Behind False Wall

Jul 1, 2013

Credit Steve Hardy/Flickr

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – Human remains found in a sealed container behind a false wall in the basement of a vacant home at 720 Vassar Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie could be those of a woman who disappeared 27 years ago.

The remains were found on Friday by a private contractor cleaning out the vacant home on Vassar Road. The owner of the home, James Nichols, 82, was found dead of natural causes on December 27, 2012 after he had not been seen for several days. Town police found the house filled with personal items, debris and garbage.

The police were contacted by Nichols on December 21, 1985 that his wife, Joann, who was 55 at the time, was missing. An intensive search was launched but she was never located. The case remained open.

Authorities have no identification on the remains found in the basement, but the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating.