MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- It's only been a day since family members of a missing Manhattan Beach woman received the tragic news that she died.
Nancy Paulikas, 56, had Alzheimer's disease and wandered off during a family trip at LACMA in 2016. Her parents no longer have to search for her, but now have to bury their only daughter.
"It does relieve the uncertainty as to what happened, but the details of how she came to where she was found, what the circumstances were, we can speculate," father George Paulikas said.
Paulikas' bones were found more than 7 miles away at Fossil Ridge Park in 2017. The family wasn't notified until Wednesday though, when a DNA match was finally determined.
Even after all these years, Joan and George were still searching local nursing homes.
"A couple weeks ago, in fact we were going to do it a couple of days ago in the town of Perris," mother Joan said.
Nancy's husband, Kirk Moody, was also instrumental in the search. He led efforts to keep her face and name in the public eye and worked alongside county Supervisor Janice Hahn to help other families with at-risk adults.
"The police and the sheriff have a consolidated checklist on what to do if somebody at risk goes missing. I think if they had invoked that checklist, we would have had a much better chance at finding Nancy right off the bat," Moody said.
For Moody, there are still many questions that need answers. How did she get to her final resting place? Was there foul play? But until then, he said he's comforted by her memory and hopes others will remember her life.
"If you could just see a picture of her and see her smile. Remember her smile, she had such a pretty smile. She's so smart," Moody said.