A body found this week dumped in a field next to a highway is presumed to be that of a pregnant teenager who disappeared more than a month ago.
Jalajhia Finklea, who is from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in Massachusetts, US, was last seen on October 20 getting into a car rented by Luis Zaragoza, 38, who used to date her aunt, according to the Boston Globe.
The teen, who had spent the morning undergoing the first of a two-part medical procedure, was five months pregnant and preparing to celebrate her 18th birthday the next day.
Security footage showed Ms Finklea wearing slippers and not carrying any luggage, the publication reported.
Her mum called the police when she came home to find an empty house.
Ms Finklea was scheduled to undergo the second part of the medical procedure on October 21 but didn’t show and never contacted her friends or family.
Police found Ms Finklea’s mobile phone on the shoulder of a highway and learned her last phone call was connected to Zaragoza.
On leaving the teen’s home, Zargoza then drove to Florida, Texas and back to Florida, though none of the surveillance footage obtained so far showMs Finklea with him, prosecutors say.
Massachusetts authorities have obtained an arrest warrant for Zargoza, charging him with kidnapping and car theft.
Officers had been en route to Florida on November 5 when Zargoza was killed by officers in Florida who were attempting to apprehend him.
Zargoza’s mum told police her son suffered from severe depression and suicidal thoughts, the Boston Globe reported.
She told them he had “the emotional capacity of a teenager.”
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