A decomposed body found buried in a brushy area off Anaheim’s Santa Ana Canyon Road over the weekend has been identified as that of 18-year-old Marianna Tapia, who had been missing since July 2, authorities said.
“We are treating it as a homicide,” said Sgt. Joe Vargas, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department. “We will not be releasing any information on the cause of death or injuries because this may be known only to the killer and is crucial to our investigation. The family has been notified, and we are redoubling our efforts to re-interview all potential witnesses in the case.”
Tapia, a single mother with a 4-year-old daughter, lived in Anaheim with her mother, who is now caring for the child.
Tapia was last seen at El Rodeo nightclub in Pico Rivera, where she told the friends with whom she had come that she had gotten another ride home. “We have yet to locate the person or persons with whom she was to return home,” Vargas said.
Early Sunday morning, Irvine Co. employees inspecting a fence on the company’s property near Gypsum Canyon and Santa Ana Canyon roads found the body in a shallow grave with one foot protruding. Working all day, homicide detectives and forensic anthropologists removed the body, whose identity was not released until Tuesday.
Police ask that anyone with information about the case call Det. Ken McAlpine, (714) 765-1972.