Autopsy could determine if body found in canyon is missing veteran

The Orange County coroner is expected to perform an autopsy Friday that could determine if a woman’s body found in a remote canyon area is that of missing Army veteran Maribel Manriquez Ramos.

The body was found near the intersection of Santiago Canyon and Jackson Ranch roads about 5:15 p.m. Thursday in Orange. An officer was still at the scene Friday morning, an Orange Police Department official said.

For more than a week, Orange police have been searching for Ramos, a former Army sergeant who served in South Korea and Iraq and was just weeks away from graduating from college with a degree in criminal justice.

The Cal State Fullerton student was last seen on surveillance video outside her apartment building about 8:30 p.m. May 2.

Ramos was reported missing a few days later, after she failed to show up at a veterans appreciation dinner at which she was supposed to give a speech.


“We don’t have any evidence that would substantiate a crime did occur,” Sgt. Fred Lopez previously told The Times.

Although there was no sign of foul play, disappearing without alerting those close to her seemed out of character, he added.

“She would never walk away from commitments, never walk away from family,” Lopez said.

Ramos left behind her car and her dog, a Chihuahua mix named Mia, a constant at her side. It appears that she had her cellphone and wallet when she vanished.

According to police, her bank account and credit cards have not been touched.


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