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Body of Poughkeepsie woman missing since 1985 found in her home

Posted: 3:31 PM, Jul 02, 2013
Updated: 2013-07-02 16:15:01-04

JoAnn Nichols (Poughkeepsie Police Department)

(PIX11) –JoAnn Nichols disappeared in December 1985. Cops looked for her. But the Poughkeepsie woman was never found — until last week.

On Friday, the body of Nichols, who was 55 when her husband reported her missing, was discovered, hidden in the house where she and her husband lived.

Nichols  never turned up despite an extensive investigation.  Her husband, James Nichols, lived in the house up until his death last year of natural causes at 82.

The body was discovered by a contractor who was cleaning the house, which was overrun with junk. The body was in a sealed container, located in a false wall in the basement.  Dental records confirmed the identity on Monday, according to the Dutchess County medical examiner Dr. Kari Reiber. She died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Since the body was discovered many neighbors and loved ones have expressed their shock and sadness, but some told reporters they were not surprised.

“JoAnn had that Southern class, she had a sense of refinement to her, so Jim must have been the dominant one,” Bill Emigh, a former manager of the Ground Round restaurant, told the Poughkeepsie Journa l. “Once she went missing, our restaurant staff… definitely suspected that he had something to do with it.”

Indeed, police say that the late James Nichols is a suspect in the case, and that the investigation into the suddenly hot cold case will continue.

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