May Ann Perez went missing in 1976 near New Orleans, Louisiana. Investigators believe they may have solved the mystery of her disappearance after 41 years. (Photo: Courtesy of the Louisiana Repository for Unidentified and Missing People/Indiana State University)

Authorities in Alabama were stumped by skeletal remains they could not identify.

In New Orleans, two hours west down Interstate 10, law enforcement had an unsolved missing person’s case.

Although only 120 or so miles separated the two investigations, it would take more than 40 years for the right links to fall into place, likely looping together the bones in Alabama and the vanished New Orleans housewife Mary Ann Perez.

As a result of persistence and a few lucky breaks, investigators now believe they can tie the March 1976 disappearance of Perez to a husband-and-wife serial killing couple who stalked women across the South in the 1970s, News 5 reported.

“It was actually a miracle,” Mobile County Sheriff’s Office Detective J.T. Thornton recently told the station.

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