Officials identify remains as those of woman missing since 2005

The remains discovered by a miner working in the remote hills outside Central Point over the weekend are those of Rachel Rice, a 46-year-old diagnosed schizophrenic who was last seen walking on Old Stage Road in August 2005, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department confirmed.

Rice was a lifelong valley resident who frequently ran away from foster care homes and family members during her 20-year battle with mental illness, the Mail Tribune reported in the months after her disappearance.

Reportedly driven by voices in her apartment, Rice walked into a Medford dentist's office with no appointment and no money and had her four front teeth pulled.

Rice was last seen walking barefoot on Old Stage Road, near Military Road, on Aug. 2, 2005.

On Saturday, a miner reported finding what he thought were human remains in a remote area that only could be hiked into from the 3000 block of Old Military Road. Authorities went to survey the scene and collect the remains on Sunday.

A deputy medical examiner was able to confirm Rice's identity through dental records. A formal autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

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