LAKEWOOD, Wash. – Police confirmed Wednesday that human remains found near a school are those of a 10-year-old girl who vanished in December.
Two children found a skull and a portion of a spinal column Tuesday while searching for snakes in a blackberry bush in a vacant lot where transients camp, police said.
Lakewood Police Chief Larry Saunders announced the identification today at a news conference Wednesday.
"The death of a child is a tragedy for the entire community," Saunders said. "We are deeply committed to turning over every stone, initiating every effort to restore justice in this situation and bring closure to the family and community."
Police and Pierce County sheriff's deputies continued to search the site Wednesday for additional bones or evidence.