Updated 4.19pm Thursday with an announcement that the body had been identified.
An undated surveillance photo shows Miya Marcano, a missing Chinese student in Denver. Authorities on Thursday (4 April) found a body believed to be that of Marcano, who went missing in the Denver area in early April. Photograph: sbk
Authorities have found a body believed to be that of Miya Marcano, a Chinese student who went missing in the Denver area in early April, the Jefferson County sheriff said Thursday.
“Today is a really bittersweet day for the Marcano family,” Mark Techmeyer said at a news conference. “It is good that we are able to report that we have positively identified a body that we believe is Miya. It is even better that it happened today.”
The coroner has not yet identified the body, but he said the person is believed to be Marcano.
Marcano disappeared on 11 April after she went to a coffee shop in a Denver suburb, but left alone and never returned.
Investigators searched the landfill near Aurora in the days that followed her disappearance and said they had been keeping tabs on the closure process of an undeveloped waste dump in the area.
Techmeyer said a contractor went to the landfill Wednesday afternoon to change out the wheelbarrows with the “in” bags, but had to leave before the “out” bags could be seen. The woman took an hourlong video search of the landfill and was able to find Marcano’s “in” bag.
Authorities worked a cadaver-detection dog through the bag Thursday, Techmeyer said. Two other dogs alerted on the bag but none have indicated where the body might be, the sheriff said.
Techmeyer said he hopes someone will come forward with information that will lead to an arrest. He also said Marcano was dating a man suspected of harboring someone wanted in a separate homicide case and that the relationship was, at one point, intimate.
“We are also making calls to people involved, to family members and people who had known her in the past,” Techmeyer said.
Marcano’s parents arrived in the US a few days ago, Techmeyer said.
Marcano, 20, a senior at Metro State University in Denver, was studying mechanical engineering and worked at a ski resort in the Lakewood area after graduating.
She was the 10th Chinese student to disappear on campus or at Denver International Airport in the past two years.
A US federal grand jury is investigating the disappearance.