EUGENE, Ore. -- The Lane County medical examiner identified the remains found in rural Klamath County as missing St. Helens mother Cheryl Elizabeth Hart.
The 35-year-old mother of three was last seen with her boyfriend, Jeremy Milutin, on Aug. 4 in Eugene, Oregon.
Milutin was charged Monday night with her murder. Prosecutors also charged him with abuse of a corpse. He's scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Eugene Police Detective Jed McGuire said Monday that Hart's body was found in rural Klamath County by a search party organized by her family.
“It’s sad that this is the end result. We were always hoping that Cheryl might be alive but that was not the case,” said McGuire.
Milutin has been in custody since Aug. 5 for auto theft in Columbia County and was named a person of interest in Hart's disappearance.
Milutin was pulled over for driving a stolen, 1994 Buick Century, but would not tell police where Hart was. He only said, he had dropped her off. But as police continued their investigation, they discovered surveillance photos of Milutin, alone, in a store buying what appeared to be a gallon of bleach.
“She meant everything to me, I loved her very much,” said Dennis Hart of his younger sister.
Dennis said Cheryl was a loving sister, a mother of three kids and the person who would help anyone.
“No one could ever say anything bad about her,” said Hart. “She was really caring, she never judged anyone, she never treated anyone bad, she never turned anyone away.”
About a year ago, Dennis said Cheryl let Milutin, an old boyfriend, back into her life.
Cheryl's family told police that she and Milutin had left for a road trip to Nevada in late July, stopping in Eugene to visit friends. By August 4, no one could reach Cheryl.
“We had a general idea of where we thought Cheryl might be located,” said Eugene Police Det. Jed McGuire.
In St. Helens, the local Burgerville is taking donations to help Cheryl's family. GoFundMe donations will help Cheryl's children and cover funeral expenses.
Now that they’ve found her, Dennis says it's time to say goodbye.
“Just putting her to rest,” said Dennis. “There's nothing else we can do.”