"It was very difficult to identify who the child was," said Captain Stephanie Bigman to KGW-TV. She said that more than 150 tips did not help the investigation, and they were afraid it would turn into a cold case with no suspects.
Then, through the use of DNA evidence and genealogy databases, police were able to identify the girl as Haley Mae Coblentz in October.
"As a law enforcement officer, you're horrified, and really just want to do everything you can to find those who are responsible for this," said Bigman.
Police were able to locate the girl's biological mother with the help of the FBI. On Tuesday, law enforcement officials arrested Shawna Browning (29) and her girlfriend Lauren Harrison (34) at a traffic stop in Detroit, Michigan.
Police say that Haley had been born in Colorado but had been travelling with Browning and Harrison in the Pacific Northwest since 2015.
Investigators say that the girl had never been reported missing by her mother or the mother's girlfriend.
The couple are being held without bail in Wayne County awaiting extradition to Oregon. Both are charged with aggravated murder.
Here's a local news report about the heinous incident:
Two arrested after OSP identifies remains found in Lincoln County in 2020 as 9-year-old girlwww.youtube.com