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Body of pregnant Fontana missing teen found

August 5, 2010 5:49:53 PM PDT
Wednesday, investigators found the body of 17-year-old Anyssia Escamilla, a pregnant Fontana teenager who had been missing since May.Police say shortly after her disappearance, Anyssia Escamilla's boyfriend confessed to her murder. But it took them this long to finally find her body.

Finding Escamilla's body took an unprecedented search. It took them three months but they found the body of the 17-year-old Wednesday.

Escamilla's body was found in the El Sobrante Landfill in Corona Wednesday.

Fontana Police described their search as a "needle in a haystack."

"Two hundred yards by about 50 yards, and about 60 feet deep," said Fontana Police Detective Shawn Hare.

It took 78 days of sifting through 30,000 tons of trash. Cadaver dogs and their handlers put in 200 to 300 hours. The price tag tops $350,000. But Wednesday, after poring over roughly 85 percent of their search zone, the dogs found a body.

"Based on the gender, estimated age, clothing and other items discovered detectives believe the remains found were that of Anyssia Escamilla," said Fontana Police Sergeant Billy Green.

Investigators made that announcement at a news conference Thursday morning. They say they were led to the landfill after Escamilla's boyfriend, 18-year-old Jesus Avitia Jr., confessed to killing her in May and dumping her body in a trash can. Escamilla was three months pregnant. Police say Avitia didn't want a child.

"This was a focused young man who was goal-driven to be a nurse, like his mom," said Hare. "And once he found out about the pregnancy, wanted her to abort it, and she didn't, and that became a motive for this."

For the Escamilla family, the facts of Escamilla's death were too much to wrestle with. But after three months of not knowing, the discovery of her body, they say, brings a certain kind of relief.

"We can finally have closure and properly lay our daughter to rest," said Anyssia's father, George Escamilla. "Nena, we miss you so much."

Because Escamilla was pregnant, Avitia has been charged with two counts of murder. Prosecutors have not decided if they'll seek the death penalty.


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