Suffolk County police previously released this sketch of the woman...

Suffolk County police previously released this sketch of the woman whose remains were found off Gnarled Hollow Road on March 22, 2015. Credit: SCPD

Suffolk police have identified a woman whose skeletal remains were found by a hiker in Setauket in 2015, a spokesperson for the department told Newsday.

The woman, Lucie Van Heeckeren, would have been 61 years old at the time her remains were discovered on March 22, 2015, along Gnarled Hollow Road, police said.

“Cause and manner of death are undetermined therefore it is unknown if she was the victim of homicide,” police said in a statement.

Police on Tuesday declined to say how or when Van Heeckeren's remains were identified or where she lived before her death. In 2015, detectives said they hoped to use DNA to make an identification. 

Van Heeckeren's remains were found on a Sunday afternoon about 20 feet from a bike trail that starts on Gnarled Hollow Road, police said at the time.

The remains were not visible from the path, but deer in the vicinity caught the attention of a hiker.

“He saw animals near and he went to investigate,” Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk Homicide Squad, said at the time.

Beyrer said in 2015 that he believed the remains had been there for “some time” and that detectives could not immediately determine a gender. 

“Hopefully we'll determine how long that person's been there and how that person died,” Beyrer said in 2015.

That August, police said they believed she had been there for about a year before she was found. They also released a sketch that month of what they believed she looked like. They described her as likely between 30 and 50 years old and between 5 feet 3 and 5 feet 9 inches tall.

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