CRIME

Police: Iowa mother who vanished in 2000 was homicide victim

This undated missing person photo provided by the Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Cora Okonski, of Tama, Iowa. Okonski, who disappeared without a trace in 2000, is believed to be the victim of a homicide, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announced on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Iowa Department of Public Safety via AP)

This undated missing person photo provided by the Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Cora Okonski, of Tama, Iowa. Okonski, who disappeared without a trace in 2000, is believed to be the victim of a homicide, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announced on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Iowa Department of Public Safety via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Law enforcement officials say a 23-year-old central Iowa mother who vanished in 2000 is believed to be a homicide victim.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announced Thursday that agents have concluded Cora Okonski's "disappearance was not voluntary."

The agency says it's reclassifying the Tama woman's disappearance as a homicide rather than a missing person, and that her apparent death is under investigation. No suspects were identified.

Tama is about 60 miles northeast of Des Moines.

Okonski's ex-boyfriend, Tait (tayt) Purk, has long faced police scrutiny since he was with her the night she disappeared and the two had a volatile relationship. He's set to be released from federal prison on unrelated drug and gun charges in April.

Purk has denied involvement, telling police Okonski never returned home after walking to the store to buy cigarettes.