Autopsy on missing woman shows no obvious signs of trauma, coroner says

An autopsy performed on a Laguna Hills woman, whose body was found Monday in the Cleveland National Forest, showed no obvious signs of trauma, officials said.

Erica Alonso, 27 at the time, was last seen Feb. 15 after leaving her boyfriend’s home in Irvine, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Her body was found about 10:30 p.m. Monday by biologists working for the California Department of Transportation.


The Orange County coroner’s office completed its autopsy but has not been able to determine a cause of death, sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said. Results for toxicology tests could take six to eight weeks.

“Investigators are continuing to process evidence and information collected at the scene,” he said.

After Alonso’s body was discovered, sheriff’s deputies remained in the area overnight and began searching for clues at dawn. It was unclear how long the body had been exposed to the elements.

Fearing the worst, Alonso’s father went to the scene Tuesday and had been hoping to confirm whether the body was his daughter’s, Hallock said.

Her father told KABC-TV Channel 7, “I want to know, I want to find out, I want to find out.”

Alonso’s brother thanked the family’s supporters.

“On behalf of the family, we want to thank everybody who has helped us look for Erica,” Isaac Alonso told KTLA.

Her family had offered a $5,000 reward to help find her. She and her on-and-off boyfriend had gone to a Costa Mesa nightclub on Valentine’s Day for drinks.

At the club, they met another couple who offered to drive them to her boyfriend’s home in Irvine. Soon after Alonso vanished, her Honda Civic was found but her whereabouts remained unknown.

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