Human remains found at home of missing woman

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Updated: 3/12/2014 11:45 pm
UPDATE: 11:00 p.m.
SPANISH SPRINGS, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- A Spanish Springs woman is still missing, but the mystery might be one step closer to be solved.

On Wednesday, human remains were found in the backyard of Gerald and Colleen Muhl's residence. Detectives say this has been a tough investigation and it is far from over. The remains have not been confirmed as Colleen Muhl.

However, Lieutenant Tom Green with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said hope is dimming for family members waiting for Colleen's safe return. She was last heard from on February 17, after a family celebration in California.

Three weeks later, her husband is dead of an apparent suicide, and human remains have been discovered in the couples' backyard. "This has been a real tough investigation," said Green. "A lot of it because we didn't have remains and the conjured story about him getting a call that she was deceased."

Washoe County detectives say Gerald Muhl lied about his wife's death to her family members, saying she had died of a heart attack in her sleep on February 22. When family members could not get straight answers from Gerald, they reported Colleen missing.

On March 4, Gerald Muhl killed himself near their Ocean View Drive home, leaving detectives with more questions than answers. "The family's been very involved, constant contact with our detectives and obviously, they're very concerned about Colleen and her whereabouts," said Green.

On Wednesday, a search warrant was granted at the Muhl's home where Search and Rescue crews found the human remains. "We focused on an area in the backyard, which we had a report that Mr. Muhl had moved some rocks after February 17, the date we believe Colleen went missing," said Green.

If the remains are Colleen's, detectives may have an idea as to why her killer wanted her dead. "We do have some working motives as to why he would have wanted her to be deceased."

Again, the medical examiner has not confirmed that the remains found are Colleen Muhl's, nor have they confirmed how this person was killed. Detectives expect an identity and cause of death in the coming days.

Original: 6:12 p.m.
SPANISH SPRINGS, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Human remains have been found at the home belonging to Gerald and Colleen Muhl on Ocean View Drive. Colleen has been missing since February after her husband claimed she had died during a trip to California.

According to Lieutenant Tom Green from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, authorities were granted a search warrant and located a grave site in the backyard. "We excavated the grave. We found human remains. Those remains have been removed and transported to the Medical Examiner's office where we hope to learn identity and cause and manner of death."

"We're exploring several motives and the investigation will continue, at least until we have an identity and cause of death," added Green.

The body of Gerald Muhl was found a day after police questioned him about his wife's disappearance. The cause of his death has been ruled a suicide.
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