VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The remains of a woman who went missing eight years ago have finally been matched through DNA comparison. It is confirmed that the remains, which were found in 2016 after years of searching, indeed belong to the missing woman.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says that a DNA match has confirmed that human remains found in Flagler County in 2016 are those of Mandy Ciehanoski, the victim of a 2011 homicide.
Ciehanoski's killer, Michael Annicchiarico, is currently serving a life prison sentence for second-degree murder.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says that they, along with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and St. Johns County Medical Examiner's Officer, wre notified of the match on Thursday by the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. Ciehanoski's family was notified soon after that.
Ciehanoski was reported missing on February 14th, 2011 after her family had not seen her for a week. Sheriff's detectives were said to have determined that Annicchiarico was with her on the day she disappeared, despite his statements that he had not seen her in two years. They found blood evidence in his closet, trash, and vehicle.
Then in 2011, the Sheriff's Office says that Annicchiarico was indicted for Ciehanoski's murder. In 2014, he plead no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Annicchiarico reportedly stated that he left Cheihanoski's body in a wooded area near Ormond Beach. At that time, an extensive search for her remains was unsuccessful.
However, in November 2016, a drone operator is said to have found human remains in a wooded area in Flagler County, just north of Ormond Beach, following a drone crash. The remains were then recovered by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and submitted to the University of Florida C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory by the St. john's County Medical Examiner for forensic analysis.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says that their Major Case Unit contacted the Flagler County Sheriff's Office about the Ciehanoski case and the remains were submitted to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for DNA comparison to familial DNA samples collected during the Volusia County Sheriff's Office investigation.
Two years later, the results officially returned a match.