Gary and Sherry Arnold, October 2009
Courtesy of Arnold Family
03/22/2012 at 01:30 PM EDT
Authorities have recovered human remains and confirmed that they are those of Montana math teacher Sherry Arnold, who disappeared while jogging in January.
The FBI issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, hours after the discovery in Williston, N.D., and then announced the confirmation Thursday.
A few days after Arnold's disappearance a suspect had been arrested
in Williston and the body was believed buried in unattended farmland in that region, according to reports.
The body was then sent to a state medical lab in Missoula, Mont., for positive identification.
Arnold's disappearance shocked the tiny community of Sidney, Mont., where Arnold, 43, the great-granddaughter of the town's first police chief, taught at the high school.
Michael Keith Spell, 22, and Lester Van Waters Jr., 47, both of Parachute, Colo., who may have come to the area looking for oilfield work, have pleaded not guilty to one count each of aggravated kidnapping.
Court documents filed by the prosecutor say Spell told investigators he pulled Arnold into a car and that he implicated Waters in Arnold's death.
The documents say Spell told authorities that the men buried Arnold in a shallow grave, but he couldn't find it. Their trial is set for July.