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Missing San Bernardino woman found dead near makeshift coffin, authorities say

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Marlene Santellan, 34, was found dead in a parking lot in San Bernardino.
(San Bernardino Police Department)

A missing woman was found dead Sunday morning near what appeared to be a makeshift coffin in a San Bernardino parking lot, authorities said.

Witnesses called the police about 8 a.m. when they found the body near the plywood box, which was leaning against a chain-link fence in the 2500 block of North Del Rosa Avenue, said Sadie Albers, a spokeswoman with the San Bernardino Police Department. Police believe she may have been dumped in the box, which then fell open.

Authorities identified the woman as San Bernardino resident Marlene Santellan, 34, who had been reported missing by her mother a couple of days earlier.

It’s unclear when the woman died and authorities did not say if she had any visible wounds. But police said homicide investigators responded because of the “suspicious circumstances” at the scene. Coroner’s officials will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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Anyone with information is urged to call homicide investigators at (909) 384-5745 or (909) 384-5613.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek


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