NEWPORT (WATE) - Law enforcement officials say Friday the human remains found Thursday in rural Cocke County were those of Newport teen Megan Maxwell.
Officials said Friday she was abducted and murdered, but wouldn't name a cause of death.
The skull, other body parts and several pieces of clothing were found Thursday near where Maxwell's burned out car was discovered in April 2009, shortly after her disappearance.
Cocke County Det. Derrick Woods said the remains were identified Friday morning by the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center.
Det. Woods said the remains had been in a wooded area off Ponderosa Road for "some period of time," but they had not been buried.
A man walking his dog found the remains and called law enforcement.
Officials say their investigation continues into a person or persons suspected of killing Maxwell.
Megan Maxwell's mother, Lisa, says she's relieved that "we can finally bring her home."
"This has been a nightmare," Lisa Maxwell said. "But I've not found any no closure, not yet."
News of Megan's remains spread quickly through Newport.
"It broke my heart," Robin Nelson said about hearing the news. "That family has waited for so long and it's just like, all of a sudden. I know they want closure, but I was always hoping she was still alive."
"You could see [Lisa's] picture everywhere, on different shops and people's stores," said Diane Grooms. "You'd see her picture and you'd just wonder what has happened to her."
"Everybody just thought, one of these days she's going to turn up," Nelson added.