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Husband Arrested For Murder Of Mother Found In San Diego Bay 2 Years After She Went Missing

A former husband has been arrested in the death of Elizabeth Sullivan. Her father warns, "It can happen to you."

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
The Notorious Attacks of Passion

An arrest has been made in the mysterious disappearance of 32-year-old Elizabeth Sullivan. According to NBC News, her former husband, Navy veteran Matthew Sullivan, has been arrested for killing her.

Elizabeth was last seen on October 13, 2014 near her home in San Diego, California. The victim's remains were later found washed up in the San Diego Bay in October, 2016. The remains were so decomposed that authorities took months to identify them. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office believes Matthew used a knife to kill her. They also believe that the crime took place around the time of the disappearance, between October 13, 2014 and October 14, 2014.

Following the disappearance, Elizabeth's father pled for help finding his daughter. “It can happen to you. When it does, it gets very personal, and it takes on a whole new light when it happens to you," Edward Ricks said. "You get a strength like you never had before because that's my daughter and I'm bringing her home.” He said that he believed that his daughter was in trouble and came to San Diego to help find her. "I feel like she's in trouble, and I've come out here from Virginia to look for her and to let her know we're here."

When the body was recovered, authorities were both relieved and saddened. 

“It was not the outcome we had hoped for, but it does give her family some closure,” San Diego detective Lt. Mike Holden told People. “This is now a murder investigation and we haven’t ruled out any suspects.”

Matthew Sullivan was arrested on January 31 at his home in Wyoming, Delaware. Authorities are working to extradite him. “He’s been arrested in Delaware and will be extradited to San Diego to face a charge of murder,” said Steve Walker, Communications Director for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. “Once we have him in custody, an arraignment date will be set.”

Elizabeth was a mother of two.

As NBC San Diego reports, there's intrigue in the time lapse between the victim's disapperance and recovery of the body. Authorities and friends want to know where the body was kept prior to it being found. "I'm still in shock," said a family friend. "I knew Matt really well." Another friend also noted that it was strange that the body was found around the time the suspect moved to Delaware. “We all knew it was her,” says neighbor Brittany Garcia to People. “The timing was interesting.”

Matthew did not response to People's request for comment when the body was found. 

[Photo: Personal photo]


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