Investigators were working Friday to determine if human remains found in the Desert Hot Springs area of Riverside County are those of a 23-year-old woman who went missing in 2009 in the San Fernando Valley.
The decomposed remains were found buried near Hot Springs Road in the unincorporated Coachella Valley community of Sky Valley, located east of Desert Hot Springs, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Rosario Herrera.
Over the past several months, investigators had “developed investigative clues” that “the remains of an individual may have been buried at that property,” according to an LAPD statement.
“At this stage in the investigation, the detectives are unable to determine if the remains are those of the missing female,” the statement said. “Due to extensive decomposition, it will take several weeks to determine the identity of the remains. The recovering of the humans remains is a slow and deliberate process designed to identify potential evidence and respect the dignity of the deceased. “
Details of the woman’s disappearance were not immediately disclosed. Authorities did not release her name and would say only that she was reported missing to the LAPD’s Devonshire Division, which includes Northridge, Chatsworth and Canoga Park.
ABC7 reported that the search at an isolated residence was initiated after a probable suspect, who is incarcerated, provided information about the location of a body. Channel 7 reported that the property owner was cooperating with authorities, and was not suspected of involvement.
The LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, the FBI and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department were involved in the investigation, Herrera said.
Personnel from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office also were sent to the scene Friday morning, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.
–City News Service