Facebook page helps crack 15-year-old cold case in North Carolina

(CBS NEWS/AP)- A sheriff in North Carolina says human remains buried in a shallow grave may belong to a woman who was reported missing 15 years ago. CBS affiliate WNCN reports the remains believed to be Deborah Deans were found Thursday behind a Spring Hope home belonging to 49-year-old Kimberly Hancock.

Kimberly Hancock, who is charged with first-degree murder, made her first court appearance on Friday. (Photo: WNCN)

WNCN reports that a Facebook page recently rekindled the cold case. On Oct. 20, the page “Fighting Crime News and Who’s Wanted” posted Deans as a missing person.

The woman who runs the page said her most recent post about Deans received a very detailed tip, which she shared with detectives. Five days later, the remains were found.

“It makes you wonder why after all these years someone finally wanted to come up and say something, but I’m glad they did,” said the woman who runs the Facebook page.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone says the department carried out a search warrant at the home Thursday after receiving the tip about the remains. Stone says an autopsy will determine the identity but there was “a strong possibility” the remains belong to Deans, who was 29 years old in 2004 when she was last seen at Hancock’s home.

Hancock is charged with first-degree murder. She made her first court appearance on Friday. 

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