Girl's Remains Identified After 19 Years
Jessica Cain was 17 when she vanished in Texas
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2016 3:20 PM CDT
Authorities search for human remains in a field near Houston, Friday, March 4, 2016.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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(Newser) – A Texas family finally knows what happened to their teenage girl. Remains discovered in a Houston field have been identified as those of Jessica Cain, who vanished in 1997 while driving home from a high school party at a restaurant, the Houston Chronicle reports. "We are relieved at the news that Jessica has been found," says Galveston County Criminal DA Jack Roady in a press release. "But while this news brings confirmation, it also brings new sorrow to Jessica's family, friends and those in law enforcement who have mourned her loss." A medical examiner used DNA to identify the 17-year-old's remains, KTRK reports.

Convicted kidnapper and suspected serial killer William Reece led authorities to Cain; serving 60 years for kidnapping, he's been helping investigators as part of a plea deal in other Texas murder cases. Authorities found remains of another possible Reece victim in the same area just this week. His attorney says Reece, who's in poor health, is trying to avoid death row. "I'm just sorry it had to be 19 years and it's for his own benefit, not because he truly has a conscience," says a former police chief who helped convict Reese. "After 19 years, he decided to help these families. Well, what about the girls? He didn't help the girls. He murdered them and he's a monster." Friends are leaving messages about Reece on a Facebook page.