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Death of missing woman whose body was found in a San Diego canal was a homicide, police say

Elizabeth Sullivan.
(San Diego Police Department)

The death of a woman whose body was found floating in a canal two years after she disappeared is being called a homicide.

Elizabeth Sullivan, 31, went missing in October 2014. After months of searching by detectives and family members, the case went cold.

Then on Oct. 4 of this year, a body was found in the Point Loma area. An autopsy revealed the decomposed corpse was Sullivan, and that she had been killed.

“Our goal is to solve this case … but being able to [tell the family] — at least there’s a bit of closure,” San Diego Police Lt. Mike Holden said last week.

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The lieutenant wouldn’t divulge what prompted investigators to label the death a homicide, or when they believe Sullivan was slain.

The mother of two young girls was last heard from via text message on Oct. 13, 2014. Police were worried for her safety, saying the disappearance was out of character.

Family members raised thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe account to help in the search. Thousands of posters and business cards with information about her disappearance were put up and passed out, and a cash reward was offered, according to updates on the page.

But by January 2015, all leads had been exhausted.

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“Unfortunately law enforcement and a private detective that has taken on our case have still not been able to find a trace of Elizabeth,” the page said.

lyndsay.winkley@sduniontribune.com

Winkley writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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