Kayla Chadwick was last seen having an argument with her 19-year-old boyfriend, and now 16 months later the body of the Colorado girl has been found in a rural area of the state.
Police in Fort Morgan said that human remains found this week belonged to the missing 17-year-old girl. A senior at Fort Morgan High School at the time of her disappearance last March, Chadwick was the subject of a large-scale search.
Though police said her cause of death remains unknown, family of Kayla Chadwick say she was killed by her boyfriend, Ivan Torralba.
“She was murdered and we’re seeing justice,” Chadwick’s aunt Chris Ferguson told 7NEWS.
Police in Fort Morgan have said in recent weeks they have new evidence in the case, but gave no further details. They also said they are focusing on Torralba.
“Obviously, Ivan was the last one to see her alive … and that is, obviously, the direction we are going to take,” Fort Morgan police Lt. Jared Crone said.
Torralba was the subject of investigation before. In November 2012, a grand jury indicted him for perjury, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant. Police said he gave false testimony to a grand jury and tampered with evidence in Chadwick’s kidnapping.
Police re-arrested Chadwick’s former boyfriend last month on a drug violation. He had been on bond for the perjury charge related to Kayla’s death, but hasn’t been charged in her disappearance.
Police said they are dedicated to solving the case, a rare act of violence for the small community.
“With the 22 years I’ve been here, we haven’t had anything this extensive … any missing persons case for this long .. it’s very unusual,” Fort Morgan police Lt. Jared Crone said. “I can’t remember the last homicide we had. I believe it was October 2010 was the last one we had.”
Crone added that the FBI has been called in to investigate the death of Kayla Chadwick, and are analyzing some evidence.