GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A skull found by children playing in the woods 16 years ago has finally been identified, solving a 27-year-old mystery.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police Department said Thursday the remains found in Gainesville belonged to 78-year-old Ella Mae Williams, who disappeared in 1990.

Williams had dementia and is believed to have wandered off, but a cause of death has not yet been determined. The investigation is ongoing.

The children found the skull in 2001 and took it home. Their parents notified police.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement used DNA from the remains and compared those to samples from family members to obtain Williams’ identity.

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