Missing Central California Mother's Body Found in Imperial County; Estranged Boyfriend Sought

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Authorities on Friday are searching for the estranged boyfriend of a Tulare County mother whose body was found in Imperial County a day after she was reported missing by one of their children, authorities said.

The remains of Brittney Steenbergen, 36, of Plainvew, were discovered in a rural part of the Southern California county on Wednesday, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. A positive identification was made Friday morning.

The suspect in the homicide has been identified as Adel Hussein, Steenbergen’s estranged live-in boyfriend and the father to her four children. His vehicle, a dark blue RAV4, was found abandoned in El Centro, which is near the Mexico border.

Detectives began investigating after Steenbergen’s daughter called 911 to report that she hadn’t seen her mother since Dec. 28, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hussein had also vanished, the girl told dispatchers.

Authorities learned that a possible domestic violence incident had taken place, and they began investigating Steenbergen’s disappearance as suspicious.

Her body was found the following day. A cause of death was not immediately provided.

The children have been placed with relatives as local, state and federal officials search for their father.

Hussein was last seen in Tipton around 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Sheriff’s Office described him as standing 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, deputies said.

Anyone with information about Hussein’s whereabouts is asked to call 559-733-6218. Anonymous tips can be left by calling or texting 559-725-4194, or emailing tcso@tipnow.com.

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