A body recovered from a Utah creek this week has been “tentatively identified” as a 4-year-old girl who vanished from her home last month, authorities said Wednesday.
According to KNXV, that a medical examiner is in the process of confirming whether it was Anndine Jones’ body found in McElmo Creek. Navajo police previously said they believed footprints located near the creek belonged to the missing girl.
The Navajo Times reported that the body discovered Wednesday night was located three miles from Jones’ home in Aneth, where she was last seen on March 14. The family issued a statement to the news outlet stating that two volunteers discovered the body.
Body found in McElmo Creek believed to be missing child Aneth, Utah – The Navajo Division of Public Safety believes…
Navajo police reportedly suspended their search after three days but volunteers and relatives continued to look for Jones. Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco said local police and the FBI’s investigation is ongoing in light of Wednesday’s discovery, according to the Times.
Police previously explained that the Navajo Nation Amber Alert system wasn’t activated after Jones’ disappearance because they didn’t believe she was abducted.
“We, the family of missing four-year-old Anndine Jones, are heartbroken to announce that the search for Anndine has come to an end,” the family said in the statement.
“Anndine ‘Cookie’ Jones will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. She brought such joy to our family, and will forever live on in our hearts and memories.”
[Featured image: Anndine Jones/Navajo Police Department]