BEND, OR -- Human remains found by a hiker east of Bend, Friday afternoon, are believed to be those of Sara Gomez. The 24-year-old Bend woman disappeared in February and authorities believe she was killed by her ex-boyfriend who committed suicide while in law enforcement custody.
A hiker called 911 at about 7:50 a.m. Saturday, to report what he'd found wrapped in a tarp while hiking Friday, about 21 miles east of Bend. A Sheriff's Sergeant responded to the area and confirmed the remains were human. Detectives from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Bend Police began a joint investigation, along with the county and state Medical Examiners, State Police Forensic Lab and Deschutes County District's Attorney's office.
In a statement, Sheriff Shane Nelson said, "Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, D.A. John Hummel and I believe that this is the body of Sara Gomez, but it will take the conclusion of the Medical Examiner's investigation to confirm the identity of the human remains." He added, "Our thoughts and prayers have been with Ms. Gomez's family since her disappearance and if the remains are determined to be her, our hope is it will bring her family some closure."