VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Remains found in a wooded area of Flagler County in 2016 were those of a Volusia County woman who was first reported missing nearly eight years ago, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.
Mandy Ciehanoski was reported missing in February 2011. Her ex-boyfriend, Michael Annicchiarico, was convicted of killing her three years later, and is serving a life sentence in prison.
It took two years for the remains that were found by a drone operator just north of Ormond Beach to be positively identified as the missing woman.
Mandy’s mother, Debra, said a detective told her Friday that her daughter’s remains had been found and positively identified through DNA.
“I just jumped up and I started crying and I said, ‘You found her? You found her?’ And (the detective) shook his head yes and he smiled,” Debra said. “I grabbed my son. I couldn't let him go. I grabbed the detective. I couldn't let him go.”
Debra said the discovery helps give her closure nearly eight years after Mandy went missing.
It all started after Mandy's family said she went to help a friend run an errand and never returned.
Investigators said her truck was found the next day in Ormond Beach without her in it.
Annicchiarico was first arrested less than a month after Mandy disappeared for lying to investigators about the last time he’d seen her. He was eventually indicted on first-degree murder charges based on evidence that included bloody sheets, discarded latex gloves and blood in the car he'd been driving, investigators said.
As part of his plea deal in 2014, Annicchiarico agreed to show investigators where he dumped Ciehanoski's body. He led them to a wooded area in Flagler County, just north of Ormond Beach, but nothing was found.
It is not clear whether the remains that were found two years later were in the area Annicchiarico had pointed to.
Because authorities didn't locate the body, Annicchiarico faced life in prison instead of 15 to 50 years.
This is a developing story. Follow WFTV reporter Deanna Allbrittin on Twitter for the latest updates. And watch Eyewitness News at 4 p.m. for a full report.
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