Following a four week search, the remains of a woman in the early stages of her first pregnancy have been found and police have arrested her ex-boyfriend.
Kassanndra Cantrell was reported missing on August 27, after she hadn’t been seen or heard from for two days and failed to show up at a doctor’s appointment.
“Cantrell failed to arrive at a doctor’s appointment, and was reported to be in the early stages of her first pregnancy,” Pierce County Sheriff's Department said in a statement on Facebook.
“Her disappearance was out of character and was very concerning for her loved ones.”
Ms Cantrell’s mother, Marie Smith, told KOMO on the day of her disappearance that she had an ultrasound at the doctor and intended to go grocery shopping. She insisted her daughter wouldn’t just pack up and leave.
“If she took nothing else, she would have taken her darn dogs because they’re her babies,” Ms Smith said.
The day she was reported missing by her family, Ms Cantrell’s Mazda 3 was found abandoned in City of Tacoma. Her mother said she did not believe her daughter was ever in that area.
“That is not a place that she would ever be,” Ms Smith told KOMO.
“It's just not, there’s no reason for her to be there. It’s not a safe area, she wouldn’t be there.”
On Tuesday, local time, detectives located the body of who they believe to be Ms Cantrell.
In their statement, the sheriff’s department said homicide unit detectives worked on the case “non-stop” for four weeks – multiple ground searches were conducted and several search warrants were executed.
“Our detectives have meticulously collected and analysed extensive records, data, and evidence in an efforts to locate the victim and to identify the suspect responsible for her disappearance,” the statement said.
The investigation unearthed footage of a person of interest walking from Ms Cantrell’s abandoned vehicle to a nearby parking garage. That same person was then seen leaving the garage in a truck, with detectives able to pull a license plate for the vehicle.
The vehicle was registered to Ms Cantrell’s ex-boyfriend, who KOMO has identified as 37-year-old Patrick Dudley.
Detectives from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, along with a SWAT team and forensic investigators from the FBI executed a search warrant at the residence of Dudley on September 1.
Dudley’s truck was located at the residence in Washington state and was taken by investigators for processing.
Investigators used GPS data obtained from Dudley’s vehicle to conduct a detailed ground search of areas along Chambers Creek Road. During the search, the remains were found.
The sheriff’s department said the remains were found wrapped and disposed of over a steep hillside along the creek.
The Medical Examiner’s Office is yet to confirm the remains are Ms Cantrell’s, though police believe they do belong to her.
Search and Rescue teams along with officers from the Tacoma Police Department performed a high-angle operation to recover the remains.
Following the discovery of the body, police arrested Dudley at his home and he has been booked into the Pierce County Jail on murder charges.
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