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Remains found in car pulled from Kokomo pond identified as woman missing since 2009

Posted at 1:06 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 13:11:42-04

KOKOMO — Remains found in an algae-covered vehicle pulled from a pond in Kokomo on Wednesday have been identified as a woman who has been missing since 2009.

Howard County Sheriff's Office deputies and Kokomo Police Department officers were called around 4 p.m. after someone fishing thought they saw an algae-covered vehicle in the pond, HCSO Capt. Jordan Buckley said in a press release.

The remains of one person were inside, Buckley said. The Howard County Coroner has preliminarily identified those remains as Ester Westenbarger. Her identity will still need to be confirmed by forensic dentistry or DNA.

Westenbarger was last seen on November 12, 2009, leaving Miller's Bar on foot to get to her vehicle which was parked at the Hoosier Bar.

Additional details surrounding the incident have not been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call Deputy Joe Underwood at 765-614-3477.