By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

A month after authorities reported the identity of a woman found in a remote area of Fort Hood, the autopsy revealed that multiple stab wounds caused her death.

The body of Barbara Suzann Howell, 42, of Killeen, was found heavily decomposed and unidentifiable Sept. 5 at Radar Hill Road in an isolated area of West Fort Hood.

Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith said there are no suspects in the ongoing investigation.

The autopsy also showed that Howell had a fractured nose and was wearing red lingerie at the time of her death. Howell's past included previous arrests on drug and prostitution charges.

A metal key also was found with the decomposed body.

At the time Howell's body was found, her death was believed to have occurred at least three weeks prior to the discovery, according to Erik Vasys, FBI spokesman for San Antonio.

Fingerprints revealed Howell's identity Oct. 17, six weeks after her body was found.

Howell was not reported missing by family members until Sept. 28.

Leroy Howell, Barbara's brother, along with their mother, Diane Wilson, had attempted to file a missing person's report Sept. 2, but they were told more information was needed.

Leroy said his sister had a history of prolonged absences and location changes.

Just days before her death, she was released from police custody Aug. 10 after she pleaded guilty to prostitution.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI office in Waco at (254) 772-1627 or KPD at (254) 501-8830.

Contact Victor O'Brien at vobrien@kdhnews.com or call (254) 501-7468

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