CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. -- The Charleston County Coroner’s Office and Mount Pleasant Police confirmed the body found in the Francis Marion Forest Friday afternoon is that of Dara Watson.
Mount Pleasant Police and the Coroner’s Office called a press conference Saturday afternoon to alert the media of the body’s identification.
On Friday, several agencies combed through the Francis Marion National Forest again looking for any clues in the missing woman's whereabouts.
Mount Pleasant police, the agency leading the investigation, confirmed a body was found close to where Watson's burnt SUV was found 11 days ago.
After the body was found, police called off the search for Watson, but waited a full 24 hours before releasing the name.
It’s a search that brought together multiple agencies including forensic units, search dogs, underwater divers, sheriff deputies and aerial patrollers.
Many clues surrounding Watson’s disappearance and death are linked to her now deceased fiancé, David Hedrick. The 34-year-old was found dead on Friday, Feb. 10, in the couple's Mount Pleasant home.
Hedrick was the last person Watson was seen with; he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after an official missing person’s report was filed.
Before the body’s identity was released, Watson’s friends, family, acquaintances and those touched by the 30-year-old’s story gathered in Mount Pleasant’s Waterfront Park and Boone, N.C. for candlelight vigils.
More than 300 came together for the North Carolina native’s hometown memorial.