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Remains found at Pawnee Lake identified as missing Lincoln woman
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Remains found at Pawnee Lake identified as missing Lincoln woman

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Human remains found Thursday at Pawnee Lake have been identified as Carly Schaaf, and her death is considered suspicious, according to the Lincoln Police Department.

Schaaf, 23, of Lincoln was reported missing May 19 after her mother, whom she lived with, had not heard from her for two days.

Schaaf's body was found by Lancaster County Sheriff's Office investigators searching in a wooded area on the southwest side of the lake not far from a day-use picnic area.

Sheriff Terry Wagner had said the body was purposefully covered.

The body was identified Friday, but law enforcement waited a day to release the information at the family's request. 

In a news release Saturday, police said crime scene technicians had processed the scene and areas around the lake.

Saturday's news release from the police department did not say whether investigators know the manner or cause of Schaaf's death. Earlier, Wagner had said it might take four to six weeks until toxicology results are available from the autopsy done Friday.

There is no ongoing threat to the public, according to LPD's release, but officials ask people who have information to call 402-441-6000, or make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600.

Schaaf's parents, Shari and David Schaaf, addressed the public in a tearful news conference June 3, asking anyone with information to contact authorities.

Carly Schaaf — described by her mother as a homebody with a deep affection for her two dogs — had not been heard from since the morning of May 17, when she went missing from the family's home on Worthington Avenue near Irvingdale Park. She left behind her dogs, Zeus and Callie, her computer and clothes. Police said she did not take money with her. 

It wasn't clear to police investigators how Carly Schaaf left the family's house that morning. LPD Investigator Jessica Drager said Schaaf had tentative plans to drop off job applications that day but didn't have access to a car.

More information is expected to be released Monday, police officials said.

Human remains found at Pawnee Lake identified, sheriff says
Watch Now: Parents of missing Lincoln woman, LPD plead for public's help in investigation
Investigators find body at Pawnee Lake, Lancaster County sheriff says

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or


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News intern

A Lincoln native, Nick McConnell joined the Journal Star in 2019, covering breaking news and general assignment stories.

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