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2 years after Florence woman disappeared, family still waiting on identification of possible remains

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One family is desperately pleading for answers two years after their loved one, Courtney Staggs, disappeared. She's had no contact with friends, family or any her five daughters.

Three months after she went missing, human remains were found less than 20 miles away in Leighton. However, whether those remains are hers remains unclear, as the remains have not been identified.

"She deserved better, but so would anybody. No one deserves for their body to be taken and dumped in a wooded area," said Tammy Barrett, Staggs' aunt.

Aug. 10, 2020, was the last time anyone saw Staggs. Police say she was seen leaving the area of Irvine Street in Florence.

"She's never been heard from again," said Barrett.

Two years later, family members are heartbroken.

"You think, if she's alive, why have we not heard from her? She has five girls, a brother and two sisters — lots of family," said Barrett.

The human remains were found in a wooded area off Jarmon Lane in Colbert County. At the time, family members "were assured because of the items found with this body, these remains, that it was believed to be Courtney," explained Barrett.

However, investigators needed to run some forensics for confirmation. Barrett said they collected DNA from one of Staggs' daughters. The family also provided dental records and anything else investigators asked for. 

That was in November 2020, and the family still doesn't know if there was a positive match. The Florence Police Department said the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences was not able to identify the remains, so they were sent to an FBI lab for more testing.

Staggs' family has yet to hear the results.

"Why are we waiting? Why has it taken two years to find out if these remains are hers or not?" asked an emotional Barrett.

She's left with no answers and no closure.

"We want an identification on those remains, and then she can be buried beside her mother," said Barrett.

Until then, they wait.

If anyone has any information about the disappearance of Courtney Staggs, please contact the Florence Police Department at 256-760-6500.

Courtney Staggs

Courtney Staggs

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