Genesee County sheriff confirms body found by Michigan hunter is missing woman

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson confirmed Monday that a body found last week was Kelly McWhirter.

Swanson said Wednesday that the body was believed to be McWhirter after it was found by a hunter who was training his birding dog in the area of Ryan and Shannon roads in St. Charles. However, the identity needed to be confirmed, and was done so by using dental records.

McWhirter, 60, and her ex-husband Steven Higgins were reported missing more than a month ago. Authorities believed foul play was involved after finding a bloody scene at the couple's Flushing home. Shortly after the pair was reported missing, Higgins shot and killed himself during a traffic stop, while McWirther was still missing.

"We quickly went from a recovery and rescue to a homicide investigation," Swanson said.

The sheriff said that McWhirter's body had significant trauma and was badly decomposed.

"Her life was snuffed out by domestic violence," Swanson said, adding that evidence at the scene confirmed that Higgins left the body there.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

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