EL DORADO, Kan. – The preliminary physical description of a body found east of here matches that of missing college student Emily Sander, El Dorado Police Chief Tom Boren said.
Boren said the body was found around 2:20 p.m. Thursday, about 50 miles east of El Dorado, where the 18-year-old Sander had attended college and was last seen leaving a bar with a man who has been the subject of a nationwide search.
Her case drew wide attention after it was revealed that she appeared nude on a popular adult Web site under the name Zoey Zane. That site was temporarily inaccessible Thursday, as were several sites that bill themselves as "fan" sites of Zane.
But Boren insisted Thursday that Sander's Internet activity had no connection to her disappearance.
"The issue of the Internet and the spin-off of that has been literally crippling our investigation," Boren said.
Boren said the body had not yet been positively identified and the cause of death was not yet known.
Boren said investigators were now focusing on finding Israel Mireles, 24, the man with whom police say Sander left the Retreat bar in El Dorado on Friday night. Authorities also are looking for his 16-year-old pregnant girlfriend, who was believed to be with him.
Boren did not answer questions about the state of the body or how it was discovered. An autopsy is planned.
Police have been searching for Mireles since they said they found large quantities of blood in an El Dorado motel room where he was staying. Details of what was found in that room have not been released.
The rental car Mireles was driving was found abandoned Tuesday in Vernon, Texas, where he has relatives. Investigators plan to bring the vehicle back to Kansas for processing, and interviewed his family members while they were there.
Sander's grandmother, Shirley Sander, said the discovery of a body would "very definitely" bring closure to the family.
"We had to know one way or another," she said in a telephone interview.
She said there were no funeral arrangements.