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Homicide Victim Dead For 28 Years Found Hidden In Debris Of Late Hoarder Husband's Home

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Jul. 3 2013, Updated 12:17 p.m. ET

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The remains of a woman reported missing more than 28 years ago was found by a contractor working on a vacant home in Poughkeepsie, New York last week, has learned.

Officials confirmed the remains as that of JoAnn Nichols, a 55-year-old woman who was last seen in Dec. 1985, when her husband, James Nichols, reported her missing. He died late last year.

The remains were in a sealed contained squirreled behind a false wall in the ramshackle home's basement, officials said.

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Residents in the area were understandably shocked by the development.

Delores Casella told WABC, "It's really weird … it really is," while Patrick VanTine attributed the longtime delay to the excessive hoarding on the property.

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"With everything going on," VanTine said, "they probably didn't look in all of the right areas … they just looked probably around the house and didn't really check the walls."

Judy Wyskida said she'd always had a sneaking suspicion the late Nichols had been on the grounds.

"She probably was around there somewhere. I always said it," Wyskida told the station.


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