A decomposed body found in a remote area of Orange County, California, Monday was preliminarily identified as that of a woman who went missing after a Valentine's Day date, Orange County Sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.
The remains of Erica Alonso, 27, of Laguna Hills, were found one mile east of a US Forest Service Station in San Juan Capistrano along Ortega Highway in the Cleveland National Forest. A team of biologists with Caltrans discovered the body and notified authorities at 10 p.m. Monday.
Coroner's officials will officially identify the remains through fingerprint or dental records and determine a cause of death, officials said. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
Alonso's father, Isaac, is convinced she was killed and is hoping for justice.
"I want someone to pay for this," he said. "I want the one who did this. I want him to pay for what he did."
Isaac Alonso said he came within a few hundred yards of finding his daughter's body during his own searches.
Alonso was last seen leaving her on-again-off-again boyfriend's home in Irvine on Feb. 15.
She had gone on a Valentine's Day date, then later that night befriended another couple at a nightclub, officials said. The four left the club about 1:30 a.m. to continue partying at the home of Alonso's date in Irvine, authorities said.
Alonso and her boyfriend got into an argument, and the other couple left about 3:45 a.m., Hallock said. Alonso left the home about 15 minutes later, Hallock said.
On March 25, Alonso's white 2014 Honda Civic EX was found near Cedarbrook and Redwood in the Glenwood Park neighborhood, which is about a mile from her home, Hallock said.
At the time, investigators said all statements by the boyfriend "checked out."
Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report