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Autopsy Results Fail to Identify Cause of Death for Woman Found in Pleasanton Trash Can

The Alameda County coroner was unable to determine cause of death, age and ethnicity, but police reveal more description: dark hair, wearing pajama bottoms and an Old Navy shirt.

Updated 4:15 p.m.:  say that a woman found dead in a trash can Thursday has dark-colored hair and was dressed in pajama bottoms, an Old Navy shirt and was wearing blue fingernail polish.

However, autopsy results were inconclusive. Attempts to identify her through fingerprints have not worked, and though the victim is believed to be an adult, the Alameda County coroner has not been able to determine an age, ethnicity or cause of death, Lt. Jeff Bretzing said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Detectives were present during the Friday morning autopsy and based on the physical characteristics they saw, they they do not believe this victim to be Sierra LaMar, the 15-year-old missing teen from Morgan Hill.

"There are a lot of rumors floating around, but what I can say is that this is not the body of a child," Bretzing said.

"That's as close to age as I can get."

He also said that the body has decomposed, but couldn't say how much. There are still a lot of questions about how long the trash can had been sitting there with the victim inside, and how long she had been dead before police found her.

Bretzing said the department has been combing through missing persons reports, and that so far, no one matches the Pleasanton victim.

"We don't know if she was killed here or if she was killed somewhere else and left here," he said.

Police  after a resident walking by reported that a 45-gallon trash can looked suspicious sitting adjacent to Dublin Canyon Road, at Laurel Creek Drive near The Preserve, a neighborhood in the west part of the city.

The trash can was in front of a bank of trees on Dublin Canyon; further back is a single house with a horse corral.

There have been reports that the can was out in the street, but Bretzing said on Friday that it was stuck back in some foliage, looking out of place. He said detectives are interviewing neighbors to try to figure out how long it had been there.

Bretzing said police responded to the call about the trash bin, and officers looked inside and found the victim.

A crowd gathered at the scene Thursday saw what appeared to be a body shrouded in a white sheet being removed by the coroner's office around 3 p.m.

Bretzing said no other agencies are involved with the investigation — just Pleasanton police and Alameda County agencies so far.

Pleasanton police detectives will continue to follow up all leads in an attempt to identify the woman and the circumstances surrounding her death, Bretzing said.

There will likely be no more updates on the case until next Tuesday or Wednesday, police said.

This is a well-traveled roadway and anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to call the Pleasanton Police Department at 925-931-5100.

 

originally ran on Pleasanton Patch.

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