Authorities have confirmed that the body found in rural Virginia was that of missing college student Taylor Behl.
Richmond Police Chief Rodney Chief said identification of Behl, 17, was confirmed by dental records. No cause of death has been determined yet.
Behl left her Virginia Commonwealth University dorm last month with her mobile phone, a small amount of cash, a student ID and her car keys. She told her roommate she would be back in a few hours.
The teen’s car was found two weeks later, less than two miles from her dorm. Her car’s license plates had been replaced with Ohio plates reported stolen several weeks earlier.
A task force investigating Behl’s disappearance found the body in rural Mathews County on Wednesday, buried off a dirt path about 75 miles east of Richmond. It was not clear how long it had been there.
A 38-year-old amateur photographer who was one of the last people to see Behl before she disappeared is being held without bond on child pornography charges. The photographer, Ben Fawley, has not been charged in the Behl case.
Fawley had a romantic relationship with the teen, his attorney, Chris Collins, has said. A telephone message left for Collins was not immediately returned Thursday.
Fawley was questioned by police in Behl’s disappearance and classified as a person of interest at one point during the investigation. He was arraigned last week on 16 counts of possession of child pornography.
Detectives later seized more than 70 items from Fawley’s home, including a box of bones, a machete and part of a box spring bearing a reddish-brown stain, according to a search warrant.
Behl’s family was planning to make funeral arrangements later Thursday, Peterson said.