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Remains found in forest ID’d as missing California woman

February 19, 2021 GMT

MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif. (AP) — Human remains found in a mountain area near Palm Springs have been identified as belonging to a 73-year-old woman with dementia who vanished last summer, authorities said Thursday.

A Riverside County coroner’s investigation confirmed the remains were those of Rosario Garcia of Hemet, who disappeared on July 7.

Her remains were found earlier this month near Mountain Center in the San Jacinto Mountains, authorities said.

The woman had intended to drive north to a relative’s house in Hesperia but for some reason wound up in the forest east of Hemet, where her Nissan Altima became stuck on a rough dirt road, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

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The car was discovered a few days after Garcia disappeared but searchers weren’t able to locate her.

No foul play was suspected in her death, authorities said.