Pike County deputies searching for possible remains of missing woman

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PIKE COUNTY, OH (WCMH) — A search for a missing elderly Pike County woman has turned up remains on a rural western Pike County property.

77-yr-old Bernice Hayslip disappeared back in August of 2016 and a tip from the Highland County Sheriff’s Office to Pike County officials lead them to two locations.

Anthropologists from Pennsylvania are at the Lapperell Road scene helping investigators identify remains they said were found here after two different cadaver dogs alerted to the same area.

“Today I believe the coroner has ordered some anthropologist to come in and sift through a possible burn pile where the dogs did indicate,” said Deputy William Stanberry, Investigator with the Pike County sheriff’s office.

Authorities say no one reported Hayslip missing after last year’s disappearance.

On Tuesday night deputies arrested her daughter, Tracy Sowards, 44, for allegedly using Hayslip’s credit card.

“There is a male subject that has indicated himself as being part of a crime,” said Deputy Stansberry.

Investigators said she and that man are only “persons of interest” in Hayslip’s disappearance.

Brian Maddock said for four years he lived in one of two mobile homes on the Lapparell Road property and said he knows Sowards.

“She started dating my boy, but she wasn’t allowed on the property because I didn’t really care for her knew she was bad news,” Maddock said.

He said he doubts the remains found in the burn pit are Hayslip’s.

“I do know there have been some animals that died and stuff hit in the road were thrown into that burn pile,” said Maddock.

Now it is up to the anthropologist to decide if the remains are human or animal and if they can be identified as Hayslip’s.

Investigators are also searching a property on Hackleshin Road, but authorities are not saying whether any evidence was collected at that location.

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