(NewsNation) — The family of Alexis Gabe said their hearts are shattered after authorities announced that the missing 24-year-old woman’s partial remains had been recovered in Northern California.
The Oakley Police Department held a news conference Monday morning to provide an update on the case. The Oakley woman was initially reported missing Jan. 27 after she did not return from the home of Marshall Jones, her former boyfriend, in Antioch, California. Investigators say they discovered a handwritten note from Jones, who is now deceased, with what appears to be turn-by-turn directions leading to the area where Gabe’s remains were located.
On Nov. 3, Oakley police received a call about human remains found by a citizen using a metal detector on Highway 16 in the Amador County area. Losing daylight, the scene was secured until the morning hours. The following day, Oakley investigators searched the area in an attempt to find additional remains, but none were located.
In the evening hours, the remains were confirmed to be that of Alexis Gabe’s through dental records. Authorities reported discovering Gabe’s earrings, remnants of a black garbage bag and tape, along with her remains.
“You can only imagine what we have recovered,” a detective said.
The condition of the remains did not lead police to a specific manner of death, but they believe her remains were separated and scattered throughout the area. The partial remains are still being examined.
Gabe’s father said he “knew something was up” when police asked for his daughter’s dentist. He said the news that her remains had been recovered were “devastating to hear” even though the family is “somehow relieved she has been found.” The family shifted their search for Gabe’s whereabouts in late September to a mission to find information leading to her remains.
“Our hearts are shattered even more than what we thought possible,” Gabe said.
He continued: “There are still so many unanswered questions. I’m not sure if there will ever be closure for our family.”
After Gabe was reported missing in January, her family found her car at an intersection and thought it was highly suspicious. Working with police, authorities collectively felt that “Alexis was in trouble.”
From that point forward, Oakley police say they worked the case around the clock and even came in to investigate on days off.
“We left no stone unturned,” an investigator said.
Gabe’s father thanked Oakley police “for not giving up.”
As the case wore on, investigators focused on Jones as a significant person of interest and determined there was enough probable cause to arrest him for the murder of Alexis Gabe.
In June, officers fatally shot Jones during an exchange in Kent, Washington, between Seattle and Tacoma. Gabe’s father called Jones “cowardly” for not cooperating with the arrest. Detectives say in this sense, Jones was not held accountable.
Officers believe Jones is the “sole perpetrator” in the murder of Gabe.
Gabe’s father said he hopes his daughter “can be at peace” knowing how the community has come together to find her. He said around 700 people signed up to help search and thousands helped spread the word on social media.
“We will not stop until the rest of her remains are found.”