The weeks-long search for a missing 29-year-old Southern California woman took a grisly twist when her body was discovered wrapped in plastic and cardboard in the back of an abandoned U-Haul truck, police said.
Ashley Manning’s remains were found on Wednesday when workers for U-Haul took the truck to a storage facility in Fullerton, California, and began taking an inventory of its contents, Sgt. Shane Carringer, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department, told ABC News on Sunday.
Despite the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the body, the case is being handled as a “suspicious death,” pending a toxicology report by the Orange County Medical Examiner, Carringer said.
Carringer said police are investigating the death as a potential homicide.
“Even if we don’t have a homicide, we still may have potential crimes here we’re investigating,” Carringer said.
He said no suspects or persons of interest have been identified in the case.
He said the U-Haul truck was rented in Fullerton. When the renter failed to return the vehicle, U-Haul workers went searching for it and found it abandoned three miles away in Anaheim, Carringer said.
He said U-Haul workers called police when they discovered the body wrapped in plastic and cardboard.
Carringer declined to say if investigators have interviewed the person who rented the truck, but said, “All circumstances are on the table and under investigation.”
Manning, of Costa Mesa, California, was last seen alive on Nov. 13 boarding a flight bound for Los Angeles at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, her sister, Taylor Manning, wrote in a Dec. 9 Facebook post.
Taylor Manning said the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that her sister made it to Los Angeles International Airport and that investigators were working to pull security video footage to see what car she got into, she wrote in the Facebook post.
Taylor Manning could not be reached on Sunday for comment. She posted an update on Friday on Facebook saying that her family’s worst nightmare has been realized.
“As a family, we are trying to navigate this tragedy and this extremely hard time,” she wrote. “We are thankful to everyone who shared the missing person post and has helped over the last two months. We are asking for privacy in this time of grief. We will update everyone of arrangements when we have that information. Hug your family members a little closer today, and please say a prayer for mine.”