An autopsy conducted Wednesday on a body discovered in a remote area off Ortega Highway near Mission Viejo showed no obvious signs of trauma, authorities said.
The body was tentatively identified Tuesday as that of Erica Alonso, a Laguna Hills woman who disappeared more than two months ago.
A group of biologists working for Caltrans Monday night discovered the body in rugged terrain about 12 miles east of the 5 Freeway (map) and one mile east of the San Juan Fire/Ranger Station in the Cleveland National Forest.
Tattoos found on the body led officials to determine it was Alonso, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Official confirmation was still pending fingerprint and/or dental record comparison, according to a new release from the OCSD.
A cause of death could not be determined during Wednesday’s autopsy, which revealed no obvious signs of trauma, Hallock said.
A toxicology test was being performed, according to Hallock.
After the body was discovered, Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority said the person may have been the victim of a crime.
Alonso’s father was confident that investigators would find out what happened to his daughter.
“They made me feel that I can trust them that they’re going to find the one who did it,” Isaac Alonso said.
Alonso was last seen leaving her boyfriend’s apartment in Irvine on the morning of Feb. 15 after the couple spent a night out celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Two people who were at the apartment with Alonso and her boyfriend the night she disappeared said the couple got into an argument, but were unsure what it was about.
Investigators described Alsono’s boyfriend as “cooperative” when they spoke with him upon her disappearance.