Missing woman's remains found
At the very least, for those who loved Leann "Annie" Meyer, the tormenting uncertainty is over.
"We know where she's at," said Tammy Haselhorst of Wheat Ridge, a longtime friend of Meyer's. "She's not out there alone anymore."
Five months after the disappearance of the 51-year-old Meyer, authorities on July 9 announced that they had located the Wheat Ridge woman's remains in Park County.
But the question remains: How did this happen?
"One of the stated outcomes from the family was to find Annie, and we found her," said Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan during a City Hall press conference. "Now our investigation shifts from trying to find Annie to putting together a successful prosecution."
Authorities have to wait until Meyer's cause of death is determined before they officially designate the case as a homicide. But there is plenty of cause for authorities to consider her disappearance and death suspicious as they investigate what happened to the Minnesota native who called Wheat Ridge her home.
There are no suspects at this time, but authorities said at the press conference that they consider a former roommate of Meyer's to be a "person of interest" in the case.
Park County Sheriff's Capt. Sven Bonnelycke said deputies there received a call on July 4 from someone who had found bones on a private property near Bailey. It was later determined that the remains were those of Meyer's.
"This is the first significant lead in this case," said Wheat Ridge police Cmdr. Dave Pickett, who acknowledged that investigators are "not in a position where an arrest is imminent."
Pickett said investigators do not know of any connection between Meyer and the property where she was found, nor do they consider the property owner a suspect. Authorities are not releasing information as to exactly where on the property the remains were found or whether the remains indicate whether foul play was involved.
"There are certain pieces of this investigation that only we know and the suspect knows, so we can't disclose that at this time," Brennan said afterward.
Meyer spoke with her mother on the phone on Feb. 10 – the last time she had contact with any of her friends or family.
Two of her vehicles were found the next month: Her 1995 silver Toyota pickup in a parking lot near West 72nd Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard on March 13, and, a few days later, a 2009 RAV4, discovered in Wheat Ridge.
Pickett said that Meyer's former roommate, Melissa Miller, is being considered a person of interest in the case. However, Miller has invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination.
"She's invoked her Fifth Amendment rights, which are absolute," Pickett said. "So our ability to speak with her is non-existent."
While the case continues to be investigated, friends and family are trying to take some solace in the fact that they no longer have to wonder whether Meyer is suffering.
"We're just happy she's been found," said her mother, Pat Meyer of Minnesota, who said she has made six trips to Colorado since news surfaced of her daughter's disappearance. "We hope whoever was responsible is found also, but it's a good feeling to know where she is.