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Bone fragments found in search for woman missing in wildfire

DENVER – Investigators are working to determine whether some small bone fragments found during the search for a 91-year-old woman who tried to save her dogs from a wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes and buildings in suburban Denver could belong to her, authorities said Wednesday.

Scientific testing is underway to determine if the fragments are human as part of the search for Edna Nadine Turnbull, a process, which can take weeks or months, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The statement officially confirmed the missing woman’s identity for the first time and provided new information about her whereabouts during the fire. It said Turnbull entered her home on a semi-rural property at the edge of the town of Superior to try to save her dogs after being told she needed to evacuate.

Turnbull lived with her adult granddaughter with two dogs, two goats and two horses, said Amy Smith, a family friend, who organized an online fundraiser for the granddaughter, who escaped the fire and is struggling to start over.

The Sheriff’s Office did not say who told Turnbull to evacuate or what happened to the dogs. A neighbor told KCNC-TV that he tried to rescue Turnbull. However, she was tethered to her dogs and the leashes were wrapped around a table, the station reported.

According to Smith, the remains of the dogs were later found on Turnbull’s property.