SANDPOINT, Idaho – Bonner County Sheriff’s detectives are now treating the death of a Lolo woman as a homicide case after her remains were positively identified.
27-year-old Mirrissa Serrano vanished a year ago after she was last seen in a bar in Lolo in early September 2017 with 62-year old Daniel Neep. He told the Spokesman-Review after his arrest on an outstanding warrant that Serrano had returned with him to Spokane, where he had a rented apartment. He says she then joined him on a trip to his cabin in Lakeview, Idaho, where he says Serrano started talking about coming back to Montana and left him while he was sleeping in his truck.
Serrano’s family stopped receiving her texts on Sept. 14, 2017 and the former University of Montana student was the subject of an extensive search last fall, but without anyone finding a trace of her.
Then, a hunter found remains along a Forest Service road on the southeastern shore on Lake Pend Oreille on Sunday, Sept. 27. That was in the same area where a ground search, along with an aerial search involving Two Bear Air of Kalispell, took place last fall.
Now, authorities say testing at the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula has confirmed Serrano’s identity.
Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler says the new evidence means investigators are treating Serrano’s disappearance as an active homicide case. And detectives are discussing the filing of criminal charges as the investigation continues.
Neep had told the Spokesman-Review he “wouldn’t harm a hair on her head” and pledged when he got out of jail to help find Serrano.