JoAnn Nichols was reported missing in December 1985 by her husband, James.
James Nichols died of natural causes last December at the age of 82. Authorities say a contractor cleaning hoarded items and debris out of the Nichols home in Poughkeepsie on Friday found the bones in a sealed container behind a false basement wall.
On Monday, the Dutchess County medical examiner's office identified the remains as those of JoAnn Nichols, based on dental records.
Dr. Kari Reiber says the 55-year-old woman died from a blow to the head. Police say the investigation into her death continues.