Lynsie Ekelund, 20 [Updated]
Died Nov. 3, 2010
The remains of Lynsie Ekelund, a 20-year-old white woman, were found Wednesday, Nov. 3, in a hillside in Santa Clarita, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
[Updated Nov. 12, 2:59 p.m.: An earlier version of this post, based on initial information from authorities, described the homicide victim as an "Undetermined Doe No. 19."
When the body was found, it was severely decomposed and coroner's officials had yet to identify the person. However, investigators believed the body was that of Ekelund, a woman who went missing nine years ago. Through dental records, coroner's officials confirmed Friday that the remains belonged to the woman.]
After years of denials, the main suspect in Ekelund's disappearance revealed he had killed the young woman after he attempted to rape her at his apartment.
Christopher McAmis, a 31-year-old white man, had long maintained that he dropped Ekelund off near her suburban northern Orange County home on the morning of Feb. 17, 2001, after she joined him on a trip to San Diego.
But Ekelund, a hazel-eyed journalism student who lived with her mother in Placentia and was partially paralyzed from a childhood car accident, was not seen again. With her disabilities, family members thought it unlikely that she would run away and be able to survive on her own. She didn't drive, and had little money with her.
On Nov. 3, detectives confronted McAmis with fresh evidence, including enhanced footage from ATM cameras that contradicted his statement that he had driven up Rose Drive in Placentia and gone home after dropping her off, police said.
"The statements that he made were laid against the information we had and it didn't match up," Placentia police Det. Corinne Loomis said, adding that detectives confronted him "in a way that made him realize he had nowhere to go."
As Loomis watched the interrogation through a window, she said the man who had always maintained his innocence uttered a sentence that stunned her: "I might as well tell you."
The Times has more on the story: "Body of student missing for 9 years is found in Santa Clarita"
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Updated: Jan. 13, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.