"She'd been there for a while, we're not sure exactly how long, but probably less than 24 hours," said Lt. Russel Reinhart of the Huntington Beach Police Department. "She had been sexually assaulted, her throat had been cut and she died there at the scene."
She was in her mid to early 20s, either white or Hispanic and stood about 5-foot-3 and weighed about 140 pounds.
On the same day that the body was discovered, another group of boys found a white purse in an oil field about half a mile away. Inside that purse were several snapshots, including graduation photos and baby pictures.
Police think the purse found near the corner of Huntington Street and Utica Avenue might be related to the murder.
Huntington Beach police detectives have posted the photos from the purse on the department's Facebook and Twitter pages, hoping someone will come forward with new information.
The dirt lot where the purse was discovered has grown into a crowded neighborhood. Residents were stunned to learn of the cold case.
"It's really strange," said one Huntington Beach resident. "Huntington Beach is such a great place. It's crazy that something like that would happen around here."