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Police Positively Identify Remains of Texas Woman Missing for 19 Years

Kelli Cox
The Cox family via CHRON

The remains of Kelli Cox, a University of North Texas student who went missing in 1997, have been positively identified. 

According to The Houston Chronicle, the remains that have now been confirmed to belong to Cox were discovered in Brazoria County in early April. Her remains were positively identified via dental records by the The University of North Texas – Center for Human Identification and Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office.

William Lewis Reece
William Lewis Reece (Photo: Houston County Sheriff’s Office)

While police have no suspect in Cox’s murder, they’ve name a person of interest: 56-year-old William Lewis Reece, who is currently in prison serving a 60-year sentence for a separate kidnapping that took place the same year Cox went missing. Reece, who has connections to several other crimes, had led authorities to the area where Cox’s remains were found.

Authorities believe other remains they’ve recently found could belong to 17-year-old Jessica Cain, who went missing in 1997.

Reece is also the prime suspect in the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Laura Smither, who was last seen alive April 3, 1997 in Friendswood, Texas. Her body was found two weeks later.

Kelli Cox was first reported missing July 15, 1997 in Denton, Texas. She left behind a 19-month-old daughter.

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