Tests Show Woman Was Strangled

A woman found dead in a desert field near Palmdale last Friday was strangled, according to autopsy reports released Tuesday.

"It has been determined she died in that manner," said a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman, Sgt. Bob Stoneman.

The body of Elaine Quintana, 29, was found about 8:30 p.m. Friday by two teenagers in a field along Avenue R just east of 50th Street East, a few miles north of Palmdale, Stoneman said.

She is believed to have lived in the Palmdale area, he said.

The woman appeared to have bruises on the upper torso, he said.

Homicide detectives said they believe that in the hours before she was slain, Quintana may have been in the vicinity of Palmdale Boulevard and Sierra Highway, about five miles west of where her body was found, Stoneman said.

"We think people saw her late Friday afternoon," he said. "We're asking anyone who may have seen her or knows more about the crime to call the Sheriff's Department."

The woman was 5 feet tall, weighed about 100 pounds and had long, wavy, strawberry blond hair, Stoneman said. She was wearing blue jeans, a maroon shirt, a gray sweatshirt, white socks and blue sandals and was carrying a black fabric bag, he said.

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