TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Those close to Alice "Anita" Oswald say they are relieved to have more answers following the release of DNA results, but are still devastated by the loss of their friend.
For more information from Terre Haute Police click here.
From the beginning of the investigation, which started as a missing persons case in November, Alice "Anita" Oswald has been described as a fierce advocate for animals. Her friends say she did not deserve the end she faced.
Jerri Laubert says her friendship with Oswald began thirty years ago but grew stronger when she started volunteering at the pet rescue Anita founded, Harmony Haven.
A coroner confirmed the body found in an ice covered pond was Oswald. Laubert got the news shortly after it was released.
"My heart just broke, I mean, now we know."
Laubert was visibly upset when discussing how Oswald was left in her car, in the water.
"It breaks my heart knowing that somebody did this to a 77-year-old woman that all she did was care about animals."
The positive identification of Oswald's body is devastating but Laubert adds there is some closure now.
"Okay, now we know it's her. Let's find who did it and let's get this case moving. I hope they have a ton of evidence on this person and I want to sit in the courtroom while they're being tried."
Laubert says she knows that Oswald "absolutely" fought her attacker. According to her, Oswald also carried a gun.
"Anita didn't do anything to deserve what she got."
Memories are all the remain for Laubert now.
"I just remember her laughter. I remember we'd just have the silliest times just talking and the dogs were there. I remember her laughing, but boy I sure remember her giving somebody the business on the phone when they wanted to dump an animal."
Laubert and other members of the board at Harmony Haven have worked to move animals before closing the shelter. Laubert has said Oswald would be upset the sanctuary is closing but says now she hopes Anita would be proud of their efforts.
"I hope she can rest in peace knowing that the animals that she cared for are being taken care of, loved and pampered. I think that helps get through this."
For more information about the dogs still in need of homes click here.
While no plans for a memorial of any kind have been coordinated, Laubert says she hopes Oswald will be honored for the tireless work she did for animals. She'd like to see a park or street named after her friend.