RIVER HILLS -- A shocking discovery was made Tuesday, May 24th in the Milwaukee River in River Hills. Could it be a major break in the search for a missing Mequon woman?
FOX6's Brad Hicks spoke with River Hills police, who said the body of a woman was discovered by cyclists -- near a pile of debris in the Milwaukee River under the Range Line bridge.
The cyclists flagged down a police sergeant on patrol in the area.
Investigators are now working to determine the woman's identity. An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 25th.
It is believed the woman's body was in the river for quite some time.
River Hills police said the woman was wearing a sweater. They weren't able to determine a hair color due to the level of decomposition.
River Hills police have reached out to Mequon police in this case. Mequon police have been searching for Jacquelyn Ranallo since mid-November of 2015.
FOX6's Brad Hicks kayaked in the Milwaukee River in February -- while working on an in-depth piece on Ranallo's disappearance. He and his photojournalist kayaked the river up to the area near County Line Road.
"We are jointly looking at whether this could be that woman," Sgt. Milton Mrozak with the River Hills Police Department said.
It's unclear at this point whether the body is that of Ranallo.
53-year-old Ranallo was last seen visiting her mother at an assisted living facility in Germantown.
In February, Brad Hicks was given exclusive access to Ranallo's home as part of his in-depth investigation. Many personal items, like credit cards, her driver's license and wallet were inside the home.
Ranallo's friend, Linda Schlosser called the discovery Tuesday "very sad," but said she hopes the discovery will give loved ones closure.
Mequon police issued this statement to FOX6 News:
"The Mequon Police Department is currently working closely with the River Hills Police Department, the state of Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office to determine if these remains may be those of Jacquelyn Ranallo.
Jacquelyn Ranallo was reported missing to the Mequon Police Department in November of 2015.
It will take time for the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office and the law enforcement agencies involved to make a positive identification of these human remains."
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.