Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath confirmed Saturday afternoon that human remains found near a snowmobile trail just outside of Sayner last week were those of Sandra A. Schinke, a Sayner woman who went missing nearly 18 months ago.
At the time Schinke went missing, she was walking along County Highway N about two miles east of Sayner in the middle of the afternoon on April 5, 2012. Her husband was gone at the time on a business trip and called police after he arrived home that weekend to find her gone.
Schinke’s remains were found last Monday by a hunter near the snowmobile trail while he was hunting in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. He called police Thursday.
Earlier in the day last Friday, the sheriff reported that a child’s jacket or smaller adult jacket and shoe had been found in the woods by a hunter east of Sayner – a discovery that prompted the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department to ask for assistance from a Wisconsin Crime Lab Field Response Team.
According to a press release issued Saturday by the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department, “weather and terrain caused periodic delays during the investigation, but successful recovery of the remains by investigators permitted positive identification of Schinke.”
The snowmobile trail, according to the press release, is located just east of Sayner – a location near where Sandra Schinke went missing in 2012.
In a story published by The Lakeland Times in 2012, the 55-year-old Schinke was reported missing April 6.
The Times reported at the time that police initiated a search of her residence and surrounding area and ... expanded outward from there, relying on area EMTs and search and rescue teams as well as those from out-of-state, K-9 units and citizen volunteers who gave up their holiday weekend to help.
The search continued for several days without success.
Assisting in the investigation were the Wisconsin Crime Lab Field Response Team, the Wisconin Department of Criminal Investigation, the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin DNR Rangers, and the Vilas County Highway Department.
Positive identification of Schinke was confirmed at Madison by Dr. Donald Simley, Board Certified Forensic Odontologist.
Brian Jopek may be reached at email@example.com.