Human remains found under a Dallas, Texas, bridge on Sunday may be linked to a missing hairstylist. Marisol Espinosa, 34, was reported missing over two months ago after failing to show up for work.
According to Dallas police, a group of animal activists out looking for stray dogs stumbled across a human body on Sunday. The wooded area surrounding the bridge is less than 10 miles from Espinosa’s home and is a known dumping ground for dead or injured animals.
The area was previously searched by investigators just after Marisol’s disappearance.
The remains were found in the same general area where searches for Marisol Espinosa have been conducted.— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) March 7, 2016
Officers went out to the location on Dowdy Ferry Road just before 12 p.m. Sunday. Police were unable to verify if the remains are male or female.
“We went down there for the obvious reason that if that is her, we wanted to have detectives there to make any observations that might prove relevant to the case,” explained Major Max Geron of the Dallas Police Department.
While working on a documentary about people abandoning dogs in the area, Jeremy Boss initially found the partially nude, decomposing body and called 911.
“I’m still numb to this moment at what I saw. It sunk in to a point, but it hasn’t sunk in. I can tell you that was a female,” Boss said.
Stephanie Timko was with Boss when the corpse was found. She took a photo of the body and sent it to the police.
“We were really hoping that it wasn’t [Espinosa] and then at the same time hoping that it was… you know for her family. It’s a very odd feeling. I would love for that family to get closure.”
The case is of particular interest to the animal activist. Coincidentally, Timko was a frequent client where Espinosa worked and actually knew the hairstylist. Despite this, the body was in such bad condition that Timko could not say if it was Marisol.
On December 29, Marisol Espinosa went missing virtually without a trace. Faustino Valdez, her boyfriend at the time, said Espinosa went to work just like always. However, co-workers at the Toni & Guy hair salon in NorthPark Center said she never showed up.
The Chevy Tahoe owned by the mother of three was discovered in an apartment building parking lot three miles from her home. The only evidence investigators found was Espinosa’s purse and phone case locked inside the vehicle.
Despite several leads received through Facebook, Twitter, and from anonymous calls, police, as well as many volunteers, have been unable to find Marisol. Unfortunately, many of the tips received have since turned out to be false.
Valdez was the last person to see Marisol. She had moved in with him as her home was damaged by fire in mid-December.
When Espinoza first disappeared in late December, Valdez joined investigators in the search. However, he has since vanished himself and hasn’t been seen in North Texas for several weeks. There is some speculation that he may have killed Marisol and is now hiding in Mexico with his family.
Several of Espinosa’s relatives were called to the scene and asked to identify the body, but they were unable to do so. The body is currently being examined, and health officials hope to determine the cause of death as well as conclude if the remains are Espinosa’s.
It will be later this week before officials and family will know for sure.
Family members said if the body does turn out to be Marisol’s, they would be glad to finally get closure. If the remains are someone else, they vowed to continue the search for the missing woman.
“We’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep going everyday to look for her. She’s going to come home,” said Marisol’s mother Rosemary Espinosa.
Until the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office finishes their report, the person’s death is being documented as unexplained.
[Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images]