On Jan. 20, 2017, Holly Cantrell left McAlester Regional Health Clinic for her lunch break and was never seen alive again

By Harriet Sokmensuer
February 20, 2020 10:51 AM

Authorities in Oklahoma have identified remains found last year as those belonging to a pregnant mother-of-three who went missing while on her lunch break three years ago.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Holly Cantrell, 40, left McAlester Regional Health Clinic for her lunch break. But the expecting mother-of-three never returned to the clinic and was later reported missing, the McAlester News-Capital , KTUL, and KFOR report.

“Within a week we knew something was wrong and then since then, we’ve just known,” Cantrell’s older sister, Alice Constancio, previously told local station KJRH.

A hunter discovered Cantrell’s purse in January 2018 and human remains were found a month later.

The remains were sent to the National DNA Database for Missing and Unidentified Persons at the University of North Texas, where they were recently identified as belonging to Cantrell, Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said Tuesday.

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“At this point we don’t have a lot of leads,” Morris said Tuesday night. “We’re going to brief detectives tomorrow and work toward making an arrest to bring justice for the family.”

Cantrell’s remains were found on a secluded peninsula in the Cardinal Point Recreation Area — less than two miles from where her purse was discovered.

After the remains were identified, Tommy Cantrell, a family member of Cantrell’s, shared the news on Facebook.

“I hate to post this on here but this way I can get it out to everyone. It is with a sad and heavy heart to tell this but we have got the report back from Texas. The remains found was Holly’s. Please keep all of us in your prayers as we go through this,” Tommy Cantrell wrote.

Now, the sheriff’s office will work with McAlester Police Department investigators to solve Cantrell’s case, which will be investigated as a homicide.