A body found near Seattle’s Discovery Park is that of a Bremerton girl who vanished more than three weeks ago, police said Monday.
Chalisa Lewis, 14, had been missing since Feb. 2.
The victim’s identity was determined by the Washington State Patrol crime lab with a fingerprint match, said police detective Sgt. Kevin Long.
The precise cause of her death was not yet known, Long and the King County medical examiner’s office said. The death is being investigated as a homicide.
The girl’s body was found Thursday by a passerby on a beach below the park bluffs. The remains were hidden beneath sand and debris. It was not clear how long the body had been there.
Washington State Patrol technicians who specialize in fingerprinting techniques lifted prints Friday from places the girl had lived, Long said.
Chalisa had not been seen since she got off a school bus Feb. 2. The Bremerton Junior High eighth-grader apparently walked the block and a half to her grandmother’s home, where she dropped off her backpack.
Search dogs picked up the girl’s scent and then lost it quickly, which suggested she had gotten into a car.
Long said earlier Monday he was telling parents her disappearance did not appear to be random.
“We feel fairly certain she was taken by somebody she knew,” Long said. “She may have gotten into a vehicle and gone voluntarily.”
Police and FBI agents had interviewed friends, relatives and neighbors in the weeks since her disappearance.