Officials say a body found on Wednesday in a field off I-95 in Fellsmere is believed to be that of a missing Massachusetts teenager.
The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said the body found in Florida is presumed to be that of missing 18-year-old Jalajhia Finklea.
Finklea went missing on October 20, and was last seen getting into a vehicle in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The vehicle, officials said, was rented at Logan International Airport by Luis Zaragoza, 37, of Florida, also known to go by the alias Luis Barbosa or Luis Barboza.
Investigators say Zarazoga turned his cell phone off minutes after Finklea got into his rented vehicle. They later found the phone 5 miles from where Finklea entered his car. According to investigators, it was discovered that he traveled to Florida, then Texas, before returning back to Florida.
Officials obtained surveillance footage showing some of the locations Zarazoga traveled during the course of two weeks, but police said Finklea is not seen in any of the surveillance.
Zarazoga was located by the U.S. marshals Nov. 4. Massachusetts police obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect and charged him with kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle. However, when officials attempted to arrest him he put up a fight.
Officials said Zarazoga was armed with a handgun and died during a confrontation with authorities. Florida Department of Law Enforcement is still investigation the shooting.
As for the body, an autopsy will be conducted in Florida to positively identify the body to determine the cause and manner of death, which officials believe to be a homicide.