MATHEWS, Va. – A task force investigating the disappearance of a college freshman unearthed a body from a wooded area Wednesday, but refused to say whether they believe they had found Taylor Marie Behl (search).
"During the past week, we have gone into a mode of searching locations that we knew Taylor to have visited based on statements, based on photographs, based on a host of other things," said Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe. "That is what led us to this particular location."
Local, state and federal officials created the task force to search for the 17-year-old who was last seen leaving her Virginia Commonwealth University (search) dorm on Sept. 5.
Monroe said investigators from VCU discovered the body buried in a heavily wooded area on private property in Mathews County, about 75 miles east of Richmond.
Police would not say whether the body was female, and said it would take several days for identification. It was not clear how long the body had been there, Monroe said.
Behl's mother, Janet Pelasara, was contacted by police about the body as a courtesy, he said.
Behl, of Vienna, Va., left her dorm with her mobile phone, a small amount of cash, a student ID and her car keys. She told her roommate she would be back in a few hours.
The teen's car was found two weeks later, less than two miles from her dorm. Her car's license plates had been replaced with Ohio plates reported stolen several weeks earlier.
A 38-year-old amateur photographer who was one of the last people to see Behl has been questioned — but not charged — by police in her disappearance.