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On May 26, 2018, at about 07:49 hours, Deschutes County 911 received a call from a hiker who reported finding what he believed to be a human body wrapped up in a tarp while hiking yesterday afternoon about 21 miles east of Bend. A sheriff's office sergeant responded to the area and confirmed the contents of the tarp were human remains. Detectives from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Bend Police Department responded and began a joint investigation with the assistance of the Deschutes County Medical Examiner, Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory and Deschutes County District Attorney's Office.
During the investigation, a drone, piloted by a Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer was used to help document the scene. Based on the investigation, it is believed the remains are likely that of Sara Gomez but investigators are awaiting confirmation of the deceased's identity from the Oregon State Medical Examiner's office, which may take several weeks.
Sheriff Nelson expressed, "Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, D.A. John Hummel and I believe that this is the body of Sara Gomez, but it will take the conclusion of the Medical Examiner’s investigation to confirm the identity of the human remains. Our thoughts and prayers have been with Ms. Gomez's family since her disappearance and if the remains are determined to be her, our hope is it will bring her family some closure."
This investigation is continuing and more information will be released as it becomes available.