Police have confirmed that the badly decomposed body found in a Coconut Creek park Thursday belongs to a Coral Springs woman who went missing in March.
Coral Springs Police spokesman Lt. Joe McHugh confirmed that the remains found belong to 45-year-old Maria Claudia Murphy.
"It all kind of adds up because we actually last saw her at Copans and Lyons Road on the northeast corner and the location where she was found was about 300 yards northeast of where we last saw her," McHugh said.
Murphy vanished on March 16 after making an ATM deposit at a bank on University Drive. She was last believed to be seen walking eastbound across US 441 at Copans Road in Margate.
With his family by his side, husband Frank Murphy tearfully opened up about coming home to the news that his wife had been found dead.
"It's been extremely difficult for me, being out of town, having to drive back for 12 hours today thinking about why this happened," he said. "I wake up with a broken heart every day."
Police and family members spent weeks searching for Murphy, before two hikers discovered the remains along a nature trail in Tradewinds Park South in the 3600 block of Sample Road Thursday.
Coconut Creek Police Chief Michael Mann said it appeared the body had been there a long time.
"The remains are mostly skeletal so it's been back there quite a while," Mann said.
Dental records were used to confirm the skeletal remains belonged to Murphy.
Murphy's brother, Mario Valderrama said, "It's been too painful for all of us, and we definitely want to close this chapter in our lives."
The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.