Bones confirmed as murdered woman
Human remains found among dense bushland in NSW's Riverina region are that of missing woman Allecha Boyd, police have officially confirmed.
Ms Boyd's remains were found by detectives during a planned search of the Lester State Forest - about 20km out of Wagga Wagga - on December 8.
Forensic testing of the bones matched Ms Boyd's DNA, NSW Police revealed on Thursday.
The Christmas Eve announcement brings a sense of closure to the case, with Ms Boyd's family now able to lay her to rest after an agonising three-year wait since she vanished.
Riverina Police District commander Superintendent Bob Noble said detectives had made a commitment to finding her body and providing answers to her loved ones.
"The Strike Force Amias team left no stone unturned in their investigation and were determined to give Allecha's family the opportunity properly - and respectfully - lay her to rest," he said.
The 27-year-old was brutally murdered after last being seen in a blue Subaru near the small regional town of Coolamon in August 2017.
Her killer Samuel Shephard, who was sentenced to 27 years behind bars, led police back to the shallow grave where he buried her this month.
Anthony Hagan and Tracey Lee King were also convicted of being accessories after Ms Boyd's murder.
The Supreme Court heard during Shephard's sentencing Ms Boyd was driven to her killer's home to buy drugs on the day she was murdered.
She was later driven to the outskirts of town where she was approached by Shephard's then partner over an alleged break-in at her home.
Shephard then pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Ms Boyd several times before he and Hagan buried her deep in the state forest.
Hagan is serving a four-year sentence for being an accessory after the fact.
Originally from Melbourne, Ms Boyd was the cousin of AFL star Will Hoskin-Elliott.
Her body was not found until Shephard led detectives to the location.
Delivering a moving victim impact statement in court, Ms Boyd's father, Ian, said he felt he was "letting her down by not finding her and bringing her home to rest".
"I cannot, and will not, stop searching," he said. "Not until I know she's not out there alone."
Ms Boyd's mother, Leah Freeman, told the court: "I no longer live - I exist."
Originally published as Bones confirmed as murdered woman