A volunteer search party looking for a missing UC Davis student found a body along the American River and notified police this morning, sparking an investigation into whether the body is that of Linnea Lomax.
Sacramento police told The Bee that the group of searchers found the body at 10:18 a.m. along the river in the vicinity of Glenn Hall Park in the River Park neighborhood near Sacramento State -- not far from where Lomax walked away from a mental health appointment more than two months ago.
Police spokesman Doug Morse said at a press conference shortly after noon that the body is that of a woman and shows signs of decomposition. Authorities say the age of the woman is not yet clear and that they do not know how the woman died.
The body was found in a wooded area along the river by a group of 25 to 30 volunteer searchers looking for signs of Lomax.
Her family indicated that they have been asked by Sacramento sheriff's officials to wait until Saturday before making any statements, according to family spokeswoman Amanda Ernst, but Sacramento police said Lomax' mother was with the search party this morning.
"Until such time as confirmation is made, the family is asking for continued support, prayers and privacy," stated a press release from Ernst.
The statement also thanked the press for keeping the disappearance of Lomax in the public eye.
The discovery brought a number of media members to the area, along with park rangers and a law enforcement chaplain vehicle with three people inside.
Many searches have been mounted for Lomax, including the one that started today and was scheduled to continue through the weekend.
The initial search began for the young woman began the afternoon of June 26, when her parents, Craig Lomax and his wife, Marianne, went to pick up Linnea from an outpatient facility on Howe Avenue, only to find she had apparently left earlier that day.
According to her parents, the teen suffered a breakdown while studying for finals at the University of California, Davis.
During 10 days of inpatient therapy, they said, she disagreed with doctors' initial diagnoses of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders and refused some of the medications they prescribed. Hours into her first day of outpatient counseling, she disappeared.
Friends and family describe Linnea Lomax as a smart, caring and driven young woman. One friend called her a "sunflower, " another "vibrant."
In an interview shortly after her disappearance, Craig Lomax said his eldest daughter was an incredibly hard worker who has always strived to be the best in every aspect of her life: school, sports, faith, volunteer work.
But he believed it was that same drive that might have pushed her to a dark place.
PHOTO CAPTION: The body was found at along the river in the vicinity of Glenn Hall Park in the River Park neighborhood near Sacramento State. Richard Chang/Sacramento Bee