The body of a missing California woman who was killed nearly 18 years ago was found earlier this month in a shallow grave, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Cynthia "Linda" Alonzo, then 48, and an Oakland resident, vanished on Thanksgiving Day 2004. She and her boyfriend, Eric Mora, were last seen getting into a car in West Oakland to travel to her mother's home in San Francisco to celebrate the holiday, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley said in a Wednesday news release.
Mora quickly became a suspect in her disappearance.
Despite Alonzo's body not being found, detectives pieced together what happened to her over the course of two years in which they investigated leads, authorities said.
Alonzo's remains were discovered on May 4, when a crew working on the Oakland Army Base found a human body wrapped in tarps in a shallow grave. Police and prosecutors were called to the scene as well as one of her children.
The Alameda County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy and confirmed the remains to be Alonzo.
Mora was charged with Alonzo's murder in 2007 and convicted of second-degree murder in March 2012. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
The conviction was later overturned by an appellate court.
In March 2016, he confessed to the murder and provided a general location of where he disposed of the body but an "extensive" search by authorities still failed to find Alonzo, prosecutors said.
He was eventually sentenced that year to 11 years in prison.
"The District Attorney’s Office fought hard for justice on behalf of Linda’s family. It was a long road to get here, and the family stuck with us along the way," Deputy District Attorney Danielle London, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement.
"We are relieved to have finally found Linda so the family can have a proper burial," she said. "For too many years, Eric Mora denied killing Linda until he confessed in 2016. May Linda finally rest in peace."