HUNTINGTON BEACH — Police announced Wednesday that they have identified human bones found in Oceanside as those of a 79-year-old Huntington Beach woman who disappeared three years ago and may have been slain.
The remains were found Aug. 5 by two boys in a ravine. A forensic anthropologist identified the remains as those of Evelyn Hirth of Huntington Beach, Police Lt. Ed McErlain said Wednesday.
Examiners could not determine the cause of death or when she died, he added.
Hirth, who had Alzheimer's disease, and her husband, Edward, who suffers from senility, were reported missing Aug. 27, 1988, by their daughter, McErlain said.
Three days later, Edward Hirth, 83, was found confused and disoriented in a Carlsbad motel. He has no memory of how he got there or of how he came to be missing, McErlain said.
A month later, the couple's car was found in a parking lot on El Camino Real in Oceanside, a block from where Evelyn Hirth's remains would later be found, McErlain said.
Because the "circumstances surrounding the disappearance and death remain suspicious," McErlain said, detectives are still working on the case and investigating the possibility of foul play.
During the investigation three years ago, the couple's grandson--Glenn Kehn, then 21, of Huntington Beach--was arrested and questioned, then released for lack of evidence, McErlain said.
On the day that Edward Hirth was found, police scoured the surrounding area in Oceanside, including the parking lot, and found nothing tied to Evelyn Hirth's disappearance, he said. A month later, the car was found in that lot, he said.
Police Detective Jim Dowling seeks possible information about the case at (714) 536-5959.