KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Human remains found earlier this week in Bates County have been identified as Nicole Mallatt, who went missing around Thanksgiving last year.
The Bates County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday about an article of clothing with human remains inside found in a bean field in southwest Bates County.
With help from a team of forensic anthropologists from Washburn University, additional remains were recovered and sent to the Bates County coroner for a forensic review and identification.
An autopsy Friday confirmed that the remains belonged to Mallatt.
The team from Washburn University will examine the remains in an effort to determine the cause of death, according to the Bates County Sheriff’s Office.
“We ask for prayers for the family and friends of Nicole Mallatt,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement, announcing the identification. “Nicole leaves behind 4 children who lived with her in the home.”
Authorities said the investigation into her disappearance and death remains “active and ongoing.”
Mallatt was last seen Nov. 26, 2019, and was reported missing three days later. Bates County activated the Southwest Major Case Squad on Dec. 2, 2019, to expand the search.
Police officers from the Butler, Lamar and Nevada police departments along with sheriff’s deputies from Vernon and Cedar counties joined Bates County deputies, Mallatt’s family and volunteers to search the area near where she lived.
Mallatt left home the night she was last seen to meet her ex-husband, who said he dropped her off outside her house later that evening.
Some of Mallatt’s personal items were recovered on Dec. 5.
A backpack, phone and shoes were found near the Marais Des Cygnes River, roughly 100 yards from the rural property where she lived with her boyfriend of 18 years and their children.
Members of her boyfriend’s family also lived on the property.