LORANGER, La. -- The disappearance of a Tangipahoa Parish woman has been partially solved now that authorities have identified recently discovered remains as belonging to Dena Fout.
"Last night was the first time I was able to go to bed and not have to wonder where my sister was,” said Kelly Winget, “So there's peace, but then there's heartbreak. It’s just an emotional rollercoaster."
That's how family members of the 41-year-old mother feel now that their long search for her is over.
The family has posted flyers, chased dead-end tips and raised her three children for almost five years, ever since she was last seen walking out of her home at this trailer park to smoke a cigarette.
"Mainly it's just numb,” she said, “We always held out hope we were going to be able to find her alive, and well, even though I knew and the family knew, deep down, she would never walk away."
Authorities say Fout's skull was found last Wednesday morning by teenagers who were trying to catch frogs along a tree line on Loranger Road.
Family members say that's 308 yards from where Fout was last seen alive.
Since the discovery, Fout's family has been on the hunt for the rest of her remains. They have been unsuccessful so far.
Detectives say they are aggressively working to determine a cause and time of death, without word on whether foul play is suspected.
Fout's family is also on the hunt for answers, now more than ever before.
“Full force. I feel like now that I know where my sister is and she is at peace, now I feel like a new energy and full force of going after what happened," Winget said.
Though family members say they're grateful for all of the community's support up to this point, they say they're going to need it to continue to get the case completely solved.
Fout’s family is starting a memorial fund at Capital One Bank in her name to help them hold funeral services. If you can help investigators with the case, call Crimestoppers at 800-554-5245.