It was off a busy highway 510 near the Nisqually Indian Reservation that a missing person's case came to an end.
Her family now knows that the reason Rita Kagawa hadn't been seen or called in weeks is because she was no longer alive.
"This person reported dutifully for work, was very dependable, and was in touch with family regularly and that just stopped," says Det. Sgt. Jerry Bates of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.
Friday night, her family said they were too upset to talk. When they spoke to KING 5 three weeks ago, they were already fearing the worst.
"You see it on the news, you see it about other people. And now all of this is making it more real that she's really gone," said Linda Terronez, Kagawa's sister-in-law.
Right away, detectives see obvious signs of foul play. Her remains were found in the bushes as if intentionally concealed from public view, in an area she had no reason to visit. And Kagawa vanished the day before she was to receive a substantial divorce settlement.
"Certainly suspicious when a financial settlement is involved and then someone disappears. That's something we would obviously look at," says Bates.
Police are also taking a close look at her apartment, the last place she was seen alive by her ex-husband.
Police say they have a person of interest but declined to say who it is. There have been no arrests.