Fingerprints Used to Positively ID Body As Missing Laguna Hills Woman Erica Alonso

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A photo of Erica Alonso posted on her GiveForward memorial page, where she was described as "fierce" and "strong."

A fingerprint match was used to positively identify a body found in a remote area off Ortega Highway as Erica Alonso, a Laguna Hills woman who disappeared after a night out celebrating Valentine’s Day, authorities announced Thursday.

The remains were discovered Monday night by a group of biologists working for Caltrans in rugged terrain about 12 miles east of the 5 Freeway (map).

A cause of death could not be determined during an autopsy conducted Wednesday, which revealed no obvious signs of trauma, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Toxicology tests were being performed, Hallock said.

Alonso was last seen leaving her boyfriend’s Irvine apartment around 4 a.m. on of Feb. 15, authorities said.

Her 2014 Honda Civic was located about one mile away from her home in Aliso Viejo on March 25.

A memorial fund in Alonso’s name was established on GiveForward.