DNA result deepens mystery of remains within walls of home in the Heights

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Mystery of remains inside walls of Heights home deepens (KTRK)

The mysterious case of bones found in a Heights bungalow, for now, continues to be a mystery.

Last March, bones were found in the attic of a house once owned by Mary Cerruti. At the time, neighbors, including Roxanne Davis, believed the bones would be identified as Cerruti's remains. Now, the Harris County Institute of Forensic says the latest DNA testing proved inconclusive.

READ MORE: Skeletal remains found in previous home of missing person

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New details about a woman missing from the home where remains were found.

"I still feel like something bad happened," said Davis, who has kept Cerruti's photos found by a realtor selling the house. "But, until they know it was her, we'll never be able to know that for certain."

Cerruti, a longtime owner of the house, was known to neighbors as someone who fought the gentrification of her neighborhood, including the building of apartments. She was one of the only neighbors to not sell her house when developers came calling. Her photos show quieter times, when her Allston Street home was surrounded by bungalows and trees, not mid-rise apartments.

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Will two year old mystery be solved?

Cerruti worked part time at Casa Ramirez, a shop on 19th Street. She disappeared in 2015 and nobody heard from her. Her home went into foreclosure, sold, and the mysterious bones were discovered by new renters moving in.

"I think it's her, I can't imagine who else would be there at this point. I just can't imagine she crawled up in the attic and happen to fall through the space," said Davis.

A spokesperson with Harris County point out that just because the DNA didn't match doesn't mean the bones were not of Cerruti. The person who submitted a DNA sample was a cousin, and cousins often will not match. County scientists are now moving on to see if she can be identified circumstantially.

READ MORE: Cause of death for remains found in Heights home to be undetermined

"You watch all the crime scene shows and expect them to be able to identify remains very quickly," said Chrissie Ramirez, co-owner of the store where Cerruti once worked. "But in this case, no, and it's very sad and it's unfortunate, we would like to be able to, in our own minds, put Mary to rest, so to speak."

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