Police have released heartbreaking images of the remains of a woman who got stuck in the wall space of her home - and wasn't identified for three years.

Harris County Coroner's Office identified the remains of 61-year-old Mary Stewart Cerruti in January after carrying out extensive forensic tests, the Daily Mail reported.

Investigators believe she got wedged in the wall space after falling through a loose board in her attic.

In May 2017, the tenants who moved into her home, after it had foreclosed, found bone fragments.

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But on Wednesday, the majority of her skeleton was recovered, including her skull.

Degraded clothing, sneakers, and a pair of glasses were also found.

Pictures taken during the search show investigators holding the rat-infested skeleton being retrieved from the tiny space behind a bathroom wall where she came to rest.

Before her tragic death, she lived a secluded life and hung tapestries on the window to maintain privacy.

Her closest living relatives were cousins - making it hard to get a DNA match.

"In the attic, there was a broken board that led down to the space. Law enforcement thinks she may have been up in the attic and fell through the attic floor," Tricia Bentley, spokesperson for the medical examiner, told PEOPLE.

"It is a one story home with an attic so she was found on the first floor. There was some space between the walls where a person could fit.

"The cause of death is listed as undetermined because the remains were skeletonised. There is no evidence to say how exactly she died."

The remains were discovered in the walls of her home in Houston. Photo / Supplied
The remains were discovered in the walls of her home in Houston. Photo / Supplied

Police found no signs of trauma or foul play in what bones remained, although a great deal of evidence was victim to decay and animals.

Before she vanished, Cerruti was in opposition to new housing developments in the neighborhood, even attending Houston Planning Commission meetings during which she called the developers 'the bad guys.'

The majority of the skeleton was recovered, including the skull. Photo / Supplied
The majority of the skeleton was recovered, including the skull. Photo / Supplied

Video footage of Cerruti attending a February 2013 meeting showed her wearing a similar style of eyeglasses that matched the ones found with the skeleton.

In summer 2015, the elderly woman's neighbors became concerned after they noticed the mail piled up in front of her house that had a broken window, reported by The Houston Chronicle.

The paper also reported that six dead cats were inside.

Authorities now believe it is likely that Cerruti fell through her attic floor and became wedged in the walls. Photo / Supplied
Authorities now believe it is likely that Cerruti fell through her attic floor and became wedged in the walls. Photo / Supplied

Cages were found in the attic, hints of how Cerruti had taken care of stray cats.

She'd taken photos of them when she'd been alive, giving them names like Slim, Sweetie and Little Spot.

"The gap in the boards appears to be maybe eight inches, and Mary was certainly very frail, but it's hard for me to believe that a person could step on a board, and their entire body would go down a crack that is two inches wider than a dollar bill," Cerruti's neighbor, Roxanne Davis, told local news outlet KHOU.

Adding: "There were a couple hundred pairs of eyes on her house at all times, and anybody could look down and see that she was alone, she was elderly, she was frail and she was vulnerable, flat-out vulnerable."