Police identify human remains found in Strathcona County

Human remains that were discovered southeast of Sherwood Park in June belonged to a 29-year-old woman who lived a "high-risk lifestyle," RCMP said Friday.

Woman, 29, was known to live 'high-risk lifestyle': RCMP

Human remains that were discovered southeast of Sherwood Park in June belonged to a 29-year-old woman who lived a "high-risk lifestyle," RCMP said Friday.

Shannon Maureen Collins, from Edmonton, was reported missing to Edmonton police by her family on Sept. 9, several months after the remains had been found. She had not been seen by her family since December 2007.

Collins was identified through dental records. 

Because Collins wasn't reported missing until September, it created a delay in identifying her remains, RCMP Const. Wally Henry said at a news conference Friday.

"Those months in between there, when we were checking databases and she's not there, that's something that delayed it for sure," he said.

The medical examiner has determined a cause of death, but it will not be released to the public, as it is considered part of the investigation, Henry said.

Henry did not know specifics, but he said police have been able to determine that Collins had been living a high-risk lifestyle. 

"If this was somebody that had what you would categorize a normal lifestyle, it would not be a matter of … eight to 10 months that a family member reported her missing."

Police are still trying to determine if Collins was involved in prostitution, Henry said.

Her remains were found after a  man who lived on a rural property near Range Road 231 and Township Road 514, east of Edmonton, called police on June 5 after he noticed one of his dogs was carrying a human skull. 

A search of the property by dog teams located additional skeletal remains.

Project Kare, a joint Edmonton police-RCMP task force investigating dozens of cases of missing and slain women, has been consulted, but is not actively involved in the investigation at this time.