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Crime News Breaking News

Missing California Woman's Body Found At Bottom Of Cliff, Family Suspects Suicide

Sara Otero, who was reported missing from Oceanside, California on Jan. 28, had been struggling with depression, her family previously said.

By Megan Carpentier
Sara Otero Pd

The body of a California woman missing since late January has been found, according to police. 

Sara Otero, 28, was reported missing by her family on Jan. 28; they confirmed via social media on Wednesday that her body had been found and that it appears she may have died by suicide, the Coast News reported.

The Oceanside Police Department told the newspaper that Otero's body was discovered late on Tuesday afternoon "at the bottom of a cliff in a restricted training area just west of Camp Pendleton" after finding her car in a nearby parking lot. (Camp Pendleton, a large Marine Corps base, is just north of Oceanside along the California coast.)

"This was kind of a beach overlook area," Oceanside Police public information officer Jennifer Atenza told the Coast News. "They went out there to see if she pulled off and camped out there, and then they located the vehicle and her shortly thereafter."

"Oceanside detectives were scouring areas like that knowing that’s kind of what she is known to frequent," Atenza told Fox News.

Otero was last seen leaving her mother's house in her gray Subaru Outback around 8:40 a.m. on that Friday morning, the Coast News previously reported. She reportedly told her father that she was going to meet a friend at the gym, but the friend had no knowledge of the plans and Otero was not seen at the gym on the day in question.

Her phone, police say, was turned off at 10:00 a.m. that day and never turned back on.

Her family reported her missing later on Jan. 28, after she failed to show up for her scheduled shift at the Mission Ave. Bar and Grill in Oceanside.

The family had previously reported that Otero struggled with mental health issues and had been recently dealing with depression, adding to their concerns when she turned off her phone and didn't arrive for her job.

In announcing her death on social media, her father Greg Otero wrote that his daughter apparently "decided that she had had enough of this life," according to the Coast News.

Her stepsister, Chelsea, told Fox News that authorities had identified Sara Otero's body based on her tattoos, which included a flower tattoo on her arm, Winnie the Pooh on her ankle, and the words “It’s in our nature” on her right bicep.