Remains believed to be Burlington woman who disappeared in dumpster found in a landfill

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- The remains of a woman who disappeared while collecting items from an Alamance County dumpster in January have been found in a Montgomery County dumpster, officials said Monday.

Burlington Police said remains believed to be Stephanie Cox were found around 5 p.m. in Uwharrie Environmental.

The remains will be processed by the medical examiner's office for positive identification.

According to a news release from Burlington Police Department, 30-year-old Stephanie Cox's family reported her missing on Jan. 30. Her car was found around 12:30 p.m. behind a row of businesses at the Alamance Crossing shopping center.

Missing woman believed to have died collecting items from dumpster in Burlington, police say

Family members said Cox often collected items from local dumpsters.

Surveillance video showed Cox pull up to the dumpster just after midnight. Officers believe she was alone and did not leave the dumpster before trash collectors emptied it around 1:45 a.m.

In a written statement, Burlington Police Department Assistant Chief Brian Long said, "This case brings to light the dangers associated with collections from dumpsters. The commonly known practice of 'dumpster diving' is not safe."

A search party of 17 people worked last week to find Cox's remains there and officials said the search continued Monday after severe weather prevented further search efforts at the end of last week.

The search team included members from the Burlington Police Department, Burlington Fire Department, Elon Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and the Montgomery County Rescue Squad.

Uwharrie Environmental staff were also helping in the effort.
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