CHICAGO (CBS) — Authorities In Avon, Indiana said the family of Najah Ferrell, missing since March, is devastated with the recent findings of an investigation that involved the finding of a foot in a Crown Point pond and a tattoo on the remains that matched Ferrell’s.

At a news conference in Avon, Deputy Chief Brian Nugent said authorities believe foul play is involved and the case is now being called a “death investigation” but not a homicide. He added that future developments may reclassify the investigation.

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“It’s not the outcome that anyone wanted. Certainly not the outcome that we were wanting ourselves. Going through that process is very difficult for the family,” Nugent said. “At the end of the day somebody knows something.”


Nugent said searches where her car and belongings were found are still ongoing. The FBI has offered its assistance as well as the Indiana State Police. He added that teams are conducting aerial searches and that cadaver dogs will be brought in to assist.

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Police do not believe there is a general threat to the public but cannot confirm the circumstances regarding her death.

On Monday, two men fishing in Crown Point found a human foot in a pond. A tattoo was discovered on the remains and on Tuesday, Ferrell’s family confirmed she had the same tattoo.

“We are not going to attach ourselves with a confirmation,” Nugent said. “We are still gathering information. Information from the state police crime lab will be confirmed in the coming weeks.”

Ferrell has three foster children and two biological children and was discovered missing after she failed to report to her first day of work at a Panera bakery. Nugent said he believes the children are staying with her family.

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Anyone with information is asked to call CRIME STOPPERS at 317-262-TIPS (8477) and according to authorities, callers will remain anonymous and information will be confidential.