Months after a young California woman’s remains were found scattered across the Mojave Desert 75 miles outside Los Angeles, DNA tests have confirmed her identity and authorities announced a homicide investigation.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said it found three sets of human remains between Jan. 9 and March 17 off Frontage Road, which runs parallel to Highway 14.
This Wednesday, after DNA testing results came back, investigators announced the remains belonged to Stephanie Ashley Bonilla. But there’s little information available about the victim other than her age, 24, and that she was a resident of Los Angeles.
It was not immediately clear when Bonilla had last been seen alive. Her name was not on California’s missing persons list Thursday afternoon. Authorities said they have notified her next of kin.
The highway runs north and south between Los Angeles and the northern Mojave Desert, and Bonilla’s remains were found between Rosamond and Reefer City, just south of the Mojave Air and Space Port.
One set of her remains was found near the intersection with Rattlesnake Road. The other two were found about two miles to the north near Dawn Road.
An ensuing forensic examination determined the manner of death was homicide. Kern authorities have not released further details, and had no information regarding the time, place or date of Bonilla’s death.
"At this time, the case is still under investigation, and we don’t have anything else to add, other than anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040," Kern County Sheriff's Office Lt. Joel Swanson told Fox News Thursday.