CONECUH COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Authorities have identified skeletal remains found in Conecuh County along Canaan Church Road in December 2020 as Shari Saunders, who went missing in August 2018.

On Dec. 26, 2020, skeletal remains were found in a wooded area off a gated private road that intersects with Canaan Church Road. A forensic laboratory has now positively identified the remains as those of Saunders. Additional evidence is being evaluated by other forensic labs, and the Conecuh, Escambia, and Monroe county sheriff’s offices are focusing on particular suspects.  

On Aug. 4, 2018, Saunders left Norfolk, Va., traveling to Monroeville, Ala., to visit with family. According to Evergreen Police, Saunders was last seen shortly after 1 a.m. on Aug. 5 when she stopped to get gas at Shell/Marathon station at Exit 93 on I-65. Saunders was listed as a missing person and entered into a nationwide database. 

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Surveillance image from Shell/Marathon gas station in Evergreen

Nine days later on Aug. 13, 2018, Saunders’ vehicle was found on a dirt road off Canaan Church Road in Conecuh County, Ala. A search of the area was completed by the Conecuh, Escambia, and Monroe county sheriff’s offices at that time, but Saunders was not located. Investigators continued to search for Shari Saunders, interview sources of information, and follow up on leads and information that came in on a weekly basis. 

If you have any information on the disappearance and death of Shari Saunders, call the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at 251-809-0741 and ask for Investigator Smith.