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Family members of a missing Oklahoma teen, whose final moments were captured on a Facetime video call, say their search may finally be over.
Haylie Gonzalez, 17, disappeared after attending a Fourth of July party thrown by Eduardo Bonilla-Lopez, as previously reported. Bonilla-Lopez, 18, was charged after he confessed to shooting the teen and live-streaming Gonzalez as she succumbed to her injuries in the passenger’s seat of his car.
On Monday, police responded to reports of a dead body near an apartment complex in Oklahoma City, according to KFOR News.
While officers have yet to officially identify the body, relatives of Haylie Gonzalez say that it’s the missing teen.
“We believe that we found her,” said Haylie’s mother, Yvonne Turner, according to News 9. “We believe that we may have found Haylie.”
According to the Oklahoma City media outlet, authorities spent hours searching a wooded area near an apartment complex.
On the night of July 4, 2021, Haylie Gonzalez called a friend and asked for a ride home from a house party, as reported by Oxygen.com. They said Haylie sounded scared.
The friend went to the home of Eduardo Bonilla-Lopez, where the party took place, but Haylie was nowhere to be found, according to KFOR. The friend claimed Bonilla-Lopez was washing his hands.
Another witness told authorities they were with the suspect at the party when he “shot and killed someone,” according to court records cited by KFOR.
Later that evening, the witness claimed that Bonilla-Lopez Facetimed him, telling him he “took care of the girl, acknowledging he finished killing her and dumped her body off,” according to court records.
During the video call, the witness saw Haylie, who was still alive after being shot, according to court records. She was “bleeding from her head, leaning over, and trying to speak.”
While the witness encouraged Bonilla-Lopez to seek medical attention for Gonzalez, he refused.
Bonilla-Lopez was taken into custody on July 7, 2021, according to arrest records.
Monday morning’s discovery comes after the arrests of the suspect's sister and father earlier this month.
Investigators said they found recordings between Bonilla-Lopez and his sister, Lilian Bonilla, according to an affidavit cited by News 9. Bonilla-Lopez allegedly told his sister where the weapon was and instructed her on “how to dispose of the firearm.”
Lilian Bonilla told Bonilla-Lopez that she and their father, Vidal Bonilla-Jeres, disposed of the gun. They used “code words” to relay the messages back and forth.
According to News 9, Bonilla allegedly told his sister where Haylie Gonzalez’s body was and that “she was not buried.”
Bonilla told Bonilla-Lopez, “she took care of it.”
Both Lilian Bonilla and Vidal Bonilla-Jeres were booked into the Oklahoma City Jail, according to News 9.
Investigators have not yet recovered the gun.
“She meant the world to me,” Gonzalez’s mother told News 9 after Monday’s discovery. “That was my daughter.”
Adriana Mendoza, a friend of Haylie’s, also believes that the missing teen’s body was found.
“Pretty sure that it’s her,” said Mendoza, according to The Oklahoman. “We kind of pictured it was hard to get to where (the body) was at. They had to cut some branches and big logs.”
Mendoza said it took three to four people to carry the body from its location and that the body was not fully decomposed.
Mendoza stated that authorities focused near the apartment complex because it was where Bonilla-Lopez's phone last pinged, according to The Oklahoman. They searched the area weeks ago but found nothing.
Authorities have yet to confirm that the body is that of Haylie Gonzalez.
“I feel relieved we found her,” said Mendoza, according to The Oklahoman. “It hurts me, the way she was out there. It’s hard.”
A GoFundMe page was created to help financially cover the costs of a funeral.
Sgt. Dillon Quirk told Oxygen.com that they would release a statement once the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner has positively identified the body.
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