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Woman found dead in vehicle in auto yard was missing

January 5, 2022 GMT

GRAHAM, Wash. (AP) — The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified Patricia Soto as the woman found dead inside a vehicle trunk in a Graham auto yard in December.

The medical examiner’s office has not released a cause or manner of death for the 41-year-old, The Seattle Times reported.

King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Tim Meyer said detectives are investigating the case as a homicide. Soto was reportedly last seen Nov. 7 at a Burien residence, according to a Dec. 16 news release from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said family members were concerned for Soto’s safety because it was unusual for her to not be in contact with them for that long.

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The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department was notified that a vehicle linked to a missing person’s case was towed to the auto yard, Sgt. Darren Moss Jr. said. Deputies found Soto’s body on Dec. 21 while searching the vehicle, Moss added.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is the primary agency investigating the homicide but will work with other counties, Meyer said.

No other information was immediately available because of the ongoing investigation, authorities said.