Remains identified 2 years after homeless woman spotted carrying skull on stick

Two years after a homeless woman was spotted in northern California parading around a human skull on a stick, authorities said they've finally identified the remains.

Mai Ker Thao’s remains were located in a homeless encampment in October 2016 after a transient woman was seen carrying the 26-year-old’s skull around Sacramento, FOX40 reported. Authorities said Thao’s distinctive dyed red hair and her family's cooperation helped with the identification process.

"Through that reference, familial DNA, they were able to positively identify the victim," Sacramento Police Detective Eddie MacAulay told the news station.

Sacramento Police Detective Scot Krutz said there’s still unanswered questions surrounding Thao’s death.

"We're trying to find out what she was doing and who she was with the last week of her life, and that's our missing place in her timeline," Krutz said. "And that could lead us to what happened ultimately in the end."

Investigators have not named a suspect in Thao’s death, but said they are looking into the homeless woman as a potential person of interest. No other details about the investigation were released.

Thao’s family told FOX40 the 26-year-old’s life took a turn when she had a miscarriage.

"It was after she had a miscarriage and then everything just went and fell apart. She just changed," Thao’s sister Mai Dai Thao said. "She was never the same anymore. She distanced herself from us."