Remains identified after 20 years

By WEEK Producer

September 11, 2013 Updated Sep 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM CDT

GALESBURG, Ill. -- Nearly two decades after a woman's remains were found in the East Galesburg Brickyards, those remains have been identified using DNA.

The skeletal remains were found in May of 1996 at the abandoned Purington Paver Brickyards.

At the time, the remains were believed to be those of Lula Cora Hood, who had not been seen since 1970. However, in 2008, Hood was found alive living in Florida.

On Tuesday, the Knox County Sheriff's Office said the remains were those of Helen "Ruth" Alps, who had been missing from the Knox County area since the late 1980s.

DNA Analysis of the remains and a sample from Alps' daughter confirmed the identity.

Family and friends said Ruth Alps was a nature lover who took frequent walks near the East Galesburg Brickyards.

Knox County officials are investigating her disappearance and death sometime between the spring of 1988 and November of 1991.

Anyone with information is urged to call (309) 345-6790. Tips can also be emailed to

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