Sources: Remains found in Brazoria County ID'ed as missing woman

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- High ranking law enforcement sources confirm the human remains found at a dig site in Brazoria County last week have been positively identified as Kelli Cox, a Denton woman missing since 1997.

Investigators were digging at the location after they were directed there by convicted kidnapper William Reece. Reece has been suspected in the disappearance of several young women around the same time. He is currently cooperating with investigators.

In March, bones were found at a dig site on East Orem Drive in southeast Houston. They are currently being tested to determine if they are the remains of Jessica Cain. The 17-year-old vanished in 1997 along the Gulf Freeway.

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Bones from Jessica Cain dig site being tested.

Law enforcement sources told Eyewitness News the reason Reece is cooperating with investigators now on these cold cases is because he is trying to avoid the death penalty.

Reece's attorney, Anthony Osso, had no comment on a possible deal but said Reece has a heart condition and has undergone an operation in which surgeons placed a stent in his heart. Osso said Reece does not want to have another operation should doctors suggest one. Osso also said Reece wants closure for these cases.

"He's taking responsibility for cases that would have gone unsolved," Osso said. "He's helping the authorities to bring closure for the families and also for the various police agencies to close these files."

Osso says there are a lot of factors involved, including remorse on the part of Reece. But Osso wouldn't tell abc13 details of everything Reece has told authorities. He says Reece isn't talking much about the possible circumstances that led the killings, only where the bodies are buried.

VIDEO: Story from 1998 on William Reece being suspected in the death of Laura Smither
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Story on William Reece, suspected in deaths of Jessica Cain and Laura Smither

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