RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Authorities worked Thursday to identity a body found in the backyard of a Nevada home where a missing woman had lived with her husband before he committed suicide after police questioned him about her disappearance.

Washoe County deputies found the remains Wednesday at the home in Spanish Springs, north of Reno, while executing a search warrant involving the disappearance of Colleen Muhl, 56, sheriff's Lt. Tom Green said.

Before his death, her husband, Gerald Muhl, 51, told police she had died in California during a visit in mid-February. Authorities said he was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound soon after investigators told him his story wasn't adding up.

Detectives secured the search warrant after receiving a tip that Gerald Muhl had been seen moving rocks in the backyard.

It was initially unclear if the remains were those of a man or woman and how long they had been in the yard, Green said. He told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://tinyurl.com/l2eon44) there appeared to have been a "sophisticated effort" to conceal the remains that were wrapped in plastic.

Colleen Muhl was last seen in Nevada on Feb. 17. In the days that followed, Gerald Muhl consented to multiple interviews with investigators and told them that California authorities had notified him that she died there on Feb. 22, Green said.

"It hadn't gotten to the point we were calling him a liar," Green said last week. "But his story changed back and forth. Things weren't adding up."

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com