A 16-year-old girl, not seen since Wednesday, has been found dead 800 meters from her aunt’s home in Northern California.
The body, belonging to Nevada County resident Trinity Backus, was discovered in a densely wooded river drainage area north of her Aunt Ashley Bjorklund’s home on Kentucky Ravine Road, where she had slept Wednesday night.
Backus, a basketball star at Nevada Union High School, was staying with a friend at Bjorklund’s house when she disappeared.
According to police, the teen walked out of the house in pajamas around 10:30 p.m., reportedly to see her boyfriend, but never returned. She was not wearing any shoes when she disappeared, police said.
According to the local sheriff’s office, the cause of death in the case has yet to be determined, but officials said they have collected “nothing suspicious” about it at this time. An investigation is currently underway.
Trinity Backus’ body was discovered in a densely wooded river drainage area north of her Aunt Ashley Bjorklund’s home on Kentucky Ravine Road, where she had slept with a friend Wednesday night.
Police say the teen walked out of the house barefoot around 10:30 p.m. and never returned home. Police said they had found ‘nothing suspicious’ in her death so far
In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said search and rescue teams found the missing teen’s body near her aunt’s 12-acre property.
“Shortly after 2 p.m. today, search and rescue teams found Trinity, unfortunately she was deceased,” the update reads.
“Trinity was about a mile and a half north of the residence where she was last seen in a very densely wooded river drainage area.”
In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said search and rescue teams found the missing teen’s body near her aunt’s 12-acre estate, “in a very heavily wooded river drainage area.”
Police noted that while Backus’ cause of death is unknown, the coroner will soon conduct his own investigation, including an autopsy.
“There is nothing suspicious at this time,” officers said after an extensive search that spanned the past two days
“We have been in touch with the family and express our deepest condolences as they process this loss. We ask you to respect their privacy.’
The update came as shattering news to the girl’s family and other residents of the mountain community who had hoped the teen would find her way back home.
“It’s just too horrific,” said one resident, Tony Loro CBS News.
Backus, a basketball star at Nevada Union High School, was staying with a friend at Bjorklund’s house when she disappeared. Police say the teen walked out of the house in pajamas around 10:30 p.m. to see her boyfriend, but never returned.
Authorities from numerous state and citation agencies participated in the search for Backus, which began Thursday morning after her aunt reported her missing.
The girl’s mother, Andrea Stanio, told local outlet KCRA that she last saw her daughter at about 3 p.m. Wednesday and that at about 10:47 p.m., she received a call from the girl’s aunt who told Trinity her house’. running’ had left.
“She doesn’t think so,” said Stanio, who would then drive to Bjorklund’s house—about 20 minutes from her own—to investigate. When she arrived, her daughter was nowhere to be seen.
“I didn’t see Trinity on the side of the road,” Stanio said, adding, “The last time I saw my daughter, I was picking up my youngest daughter from school and dropping her (Trinity) off.”
She said she took her youngest upstairs to see the first snow on some of the nearby mountains.
“I took my youngest daughter to the snow. I said, ‘I love you Trin,’ Those were the last words I said to my daughter.’
Before disappearing, Stanio claimed that Trinity told her aunt she was on her way to her friend’s house in Green Valley, about 10 miles away.
The family has not disclosed the identity of Backus’ boyfriend or whether he was expecting the teen. Stanio said going missing was not typical behavior for her daughter.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, is still reviewing the case, which sparked an unprecedented search Thursday involving nearly a dozen agencies, 140 people, sniffer dogs and even planes.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the California Highway Patrol all participated in the search.
The crews were assisted by a FIRIS infrared aircraft, typically used to monitor the spread of wildfires, searching for Backus all night.
The Butte County Sheriff’s search and rescue team, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, the California Rescue Dog Association, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the search — that Friday. was shut down after officials made the grim discovery.
A cause of death, officials said, is likely to be released by the coroner in the coming days.
The police investigation into the death – which has not been classified as murder – is ongoing.
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