CANAAN (AP) – A dead woman found nearly two weeks ago in woods in this western Maine town has been positively identified as Cheryl Murdoch, investigators said Tuesday.

Maine State Police would not reveal the cause of Murdoch’s death, saying only that she was a homicide victim. The identification by the state medical examiner’s office confirmed previous statements by police that the body found Aug. 11 was believed to be that of the 37-year-old Waterville woman.

Detectives returned to Canaan Tuesday to continue the investigation into the Murdoch slaying and the disappearance of another woman, Shirley Moon Atwood, 35.

Murdoch had been staying with Atwood’s estranged husband, Shannon Atwood, who was being held in the Somerset County Jail on charges of terrorizing and reckless conduct. Atwood was arrested Aug. 13 after he allegedly used a bow and arrow to threaten detectives who arrived to search his house.

State police had issued an alert for Murdoch early this month, saying she had been scheduled to travel to Arizona to meet her mother and her 13-year-old daughter. The last known contact with Murdoch was on July 27 when she spoke with her mother by telephone.

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