The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office has identified the body of a woman found in a Beggs area ditch as missing Houstonian Demetris Lincoln.

Lincoln, 44, was last heard from Aug. 16, according to her missing person report. Two days after her last contact, Lincoln’s body was found in a ditch off La. 10 a couple miles north of Washington in the community of Beggs, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux said in a release.

Her body was discovered around 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 after a passerby called police to report "what appeared to be a body." 

Thibodeaux said previously that preliminary tests found no drugs in Lincoln’s system. An autopsy did not provide a conclusive cause of death, though detectives suspect foul play. Officials believe her body was moved after she was killed, he said.

Detectives at first struggled to identify Lincoln’s body because she had few possessions on her person at the time of her death. 

Lincoln was identified after a tipster sent sheriff’s deputies a copy of her missing person flier. The characteristics of the two women were a match and sheriff’s deputies later confirmed a DNA match with help from the Houston Police Department, the release said.

Lincoln’s family also identified items recovered with her body. She was wearing a red floral-patterned shirt when she was found and was carrying a Texas State University graduate school lanyard with a single key.

Detectives are working with Houston officers to determine the circumstances behind her death and discovery in St. Landry Parish, Thibodeaux said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the St. Landry Sheriff's Department at 337-948-6517 or St. Landry Crime Stoppers at 337-948-8477.

Email Katie Gagliano at kgagliano@theadvocate.com