The body of a California woman has been discovered just about two weeks after she first went missing at the very end of January.
Sara Otero, a 28-year-old woman from Oceanside, California, was last seen on back on January 28 in the southern California city. That morning, she left her mother’s house in her Subaru Outback with plans to go to a local gym for a workout. Sadly, she never showed up, and soon after she was reported missing.
According to the Oceanside Police Department, officials found Otero’s vehicle on Wednesday at a rest stop on Interstate 5 in an area outside the city, which sits in between San Diego and Los Angeles on the Pacific Ocean. Upon subsequent searches throughout the area that day, police eventually found Otero’s body at the bottom of a cliff. According to local TV news station KFMB, the woman’s body was “located in a restricted training area of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.”
Otero’s stepsister Chelsea spoke to reporters later on Wednesday and confirmed the discovery, telling Fox News (below):
“The police found her body. We were able to identify it based on her tattoos.”
The Oceanside PD, who initially released photos of Otero (above) to the media after she was first reported missing, told KFMB that they “have not found anything suspicious” in her death. Furthermore, investigators say they do not suspect foul play, instead believing the woman likely died by suicide.
Otero’s death and discovery comes as a heartbreaking shock to her family. She had told her stepfather that she was going to the gym to meet a friend in the hours before she went missing on that late January day, but that appears to have been untrue. After the woman went missing, police contacted the aforementioned friend, who told them they had been unaware of any plans with Otero that day.
At first, the family was cautiously optimistic that Otero might have just been taking some time to herself. But when she didn’t show up for work, they recognized something was very wrong. Sara’s stepbrother Ryan Bear told Fox News:
“She had never missed a day of work.”
According to reports, Sara had been in a relationship “with someone she had only met over Zoom” at the time of her death. The man, who was reportedly at work at the time of Sara’s passing, was reportedly “pretty devastated” following the news.
Chelsea told the media that Otero had recently revealed to her boyfriend that she was depressed. She also apparently struggled with prior substance abuse issues, the stepsister said. Chelsea added:
“She’s grappling with a lot, she shared that she was feeling depressed… it affected their relationship.”
We are sending our love and condolences to Sara’s family, friends, and loved ones.
Rest In Peace…
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