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Crime News Breaking News

Arizona Teen Who'd Been Missing For A Month Found Dead In The Desert

Police haven't released a cause of death for 19-year-old Kiera Bergman, but they suspect foul play.

By Jill Sederstrom

The case of a missing Arizona teenager took a tragic turn this week when her body was discovered in the desert.

Kiera Bergman, 19, was found dead Monday along State Route 85, about 45 minutes away from her apartment where she was last seen more than a month ago, Fox News reported.

The Phoenix Police Department, which is handling the case, confirmed the identity on Wednesday. They have not released any details about the cause of death, although foul play is suspected.

"We do not believe this was a suicide," Sgt. Vince Lewis told the Arizona Republic.  "There will be an autopsy performed by the medical examiner."

Bergman was last seen in the afternoon of Aug. 4 at her apartment. She had asked her boyfriend, Jon-Christopher Clark, to come pick her up from work and the two reportedly returned to the apartment.

Her roommate, Destiny Hall-Chand, works at the same company and saw the two leaving together. She said Bergman looked visibly upset when she left work.

Clark told the Arizona Republic last month that after they returned to the apartment, the two got into an argument and Bergman left sometime between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. She wouldn't be seen again by friends or family members.

Hall-Chand said she got one final text from Bergman later that day saying she planned to meet someone she'd met at the store a few days ago, but Hall-Chand said the message was out of character.

"This person is unknown. ... Nothing makes sense," she told the Arizona Republic.

After the discovery of Bergman's body this week, her family is devastated.

"It's not what we wanted," her mom Kiersten Bragg told Phoenix's KPHO-TV.

Although it wasn't the news the family had been hoping for, they are relieved their daughter has been found.

"We now don't have to be worrying every day on where she is and what could be happening to her," Bragg said.

The family plans to bring Bergman's body back to San Diego, where she grew up. She had moved to Arizona in March to be closer to her boyfriend.

Clark is currently in custody after he was arrested on unrelated charges, including aggravated felony theft and two counts of forgery.

Bergman's family now plans to focus their energy on finding their daughter's killer.

"She's a wonderful person and she did not deserve what happened to her," her mother said.

[Photo: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]