FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. – Authorities have found a woman's body in the desert northeast of Phoenix that they say is connected to a missing persons case out of Gilbert.
The medical examiner hasn't yet confirmed the identity of the body. But Gilbert police spokesman Andrew Duncan said Monday it appeared to be connected to the case of Jackie Hartman, 19, who has been missing since Jan. 28.
"We are hoping for a timely positive confirmation so that the family can bring some closure to this case," Duncan said. "It could take a day or could be several days to get positive identification on the body."
An autopsy by the Maricopa County Forensic Science Center will determine if the body is Hartman's, authorities said.
The body was found off of Highway 87 in the remote and rugged Sycamore Creek area outside of Fountain Hills. Search crews had been combing the same region in search of Hartman.
Friends told police that Hartman disappeared after meeting Jonathan Ian Burns, 25, of Mesa, to go to a party. The two had met just days earlier.
Police later arrested Burns after finding Hartman's torn clothing with bullet-like holes in a trash bin near his home. He was indicted Feb. 9 on first-degree murder and other charges in connection with her disappearance.