Cold-case body search leads to Santa Clarita

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. The remains were found less than a week after police arrested a suspect in the missing student's disappearance, but it will take time to identify them.

Police say that Lynsie Ekelund went to San Diego with two of her girlfriends and Christopher McAmis in February 2001. The two girlfriends were later dropped off but Ekelund was never seen or heard from again. Last week McAmis was arrested, and he directed authorities to a location where he says he buried Ekelund's body.

The digging began around 8 a.m. Wednesday in a canyon in the Santa Clarita Valley. Placentia Police joined the L.A. County coroner in searching for the remains of Ekelund.

"The dig, which has been progressing all day, has uncovered what appear to be human remains and possibly some clothing or shoes," said Placentia Police Detective Corinne Loomis.

McAmis, 31, of Fullerton, was the last person to see Ekelund alive in February 2001. He was always a person of interest. Last week McAmis was arrested.

"He said he always knew this day was going to come," said Loomis. "In the interview he admitted to taking Lynsie to his Whittier home, where he killed her and then told us that he buried her remains on this property, which was a job site with him and his father at the time. He then brought us up here and also pointed out the location to the best of his recollection where her remains are buried."

After six hours of digging, skeletal remains were discovered. The search became a more delicate operation as pathologists sifted through dirt looking for bone fragments. Investigators wait to confirm that the remains are those of Ekelund.

"We'll have to do DNA, dental X-rays and any X-rays, so it will be a while but we will try to get it, try to get confirmation of identity as soon as possible to let the family know if in fact it is her," said L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

The digging will continue Thursday. Lynsie's mom, Nancy Ekelund, said she told police that she always expected this outcome, even though she had hoped for about 10 years or so for Lynsie to return home safely.

Christopher McAmis faces one felony count of murder with special circumstances.

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