The body found in a wooded area has been positively identified as that of Taylor Marie Behl (search), police said Thursday.
The identification was made through dental records and the investigation is continuing, Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe said during a news conference.
"The scope of this case has narrowed significantly," he said, but authorities were confident they'd resolve it soon.
Police have not determined the cause of death, but said Thursday that the remains have been sent to the medical examiner for analysis.
Behl, 17, was last seen Sept. 5, when she left her Virginia Commonwealth University (search) 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.
Earlier Thursday, Behl's mother said she feared the worst about the remains unearthed the previous day.
"I'm sure you can imagine the shock and horror I feel knowing that the body found is most likely my baby's," Janet Pelasara said at a news conference outside her home in Vienna, Va.
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 task force investigating Behl's disappearance found a decomposed body in rural Mathews County on Wednesday. The body was found buried off a dirt path about 75 miles east of Richmond. It was not clear how long it had been there.
A 38-year-old amateur photographer who was one of the last people to see Behl before she disappeared is being held without bond on child pornography charges. The photographer, Ben Fawley, has not been charged in the Behl case.
Fawley had a romantic relationship with the teen, his attorney, Chris Collins, has said. A telephone message left for Collins was not immediately returned Thursday.
Pelasara's attorney, George Peterson, said at the news conference that he believes the strongest suspect is already in custody. He said one of Fawley's ex-girlfriends owns a property near where the body was found.
Fawley was questioned by police in Behl's disappearance and classified as a person of interest at one point during the investigation. He was arraigned last week on 16 counts of possession of child pornography.
Detectives later seized more than 70 items from Fawley's home, including a box of bones, a machete and part of a box spring bearing a reddish-brown stain, according to a search warrant.
Behl's family was planning to make funeral arrangements later Thursday, Peterson said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.