Updated 09/18/11 – 6:50 p.m.
PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) — Police in northwest Indiana have a suspect in custody in the death of a 19-year-old woman who went missing a few days ago.
Amanda Bach, 19, had been missing since early Friday morning. Her body was found Saturday afternoon in Union Township, not far from where authorities had been searching for her this weekend, the Porter County Sheriff’s Department said.
An autopsy was scheduled for Monday. Police would only say she suffered trauma.
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“Everyone in Amanda’s family loved her very much, her smile lit up a room when she walked in,” Bach’s uncle, Dr. Carlos Cespedes said. “She was too beautiful for this world and we all miss her very much.”
Bach’s body was just 300 yards from the home of the suspect, described by some as her ex-boyfriend. Police say the 18-year old’s father works for the Crown Point Indiana police department. Detectives report they are holding the suspect on suspicion of murder.
Authorities expect to formally the suspect with murder on Monday after Porter County prosecutors officially review the case.
The young woman’s disappearance sparked an intense search Saturday. Combing the rural countryside were volunteers from 20 law enforcement agencies, as well as over 100 of Bach’s friends, and family members.
It followed the discovery of her car outside a Wheeler general store Friday morning. Authorities immediately suspected foul play.
“The car had a flat tire, the driver’s side door was standing open, and Amanda’s purse and its contents were inside,” Porter County Sheriff David Lain said.
Bach, from Portage, was a 2011 graduate of the town’s high school and planned to begin college next semester. Friends have created a makeshift memorial at the sight of her disappearance.
“Everyone was just devastated I just got done pulling myself together and stop crying,” her friend Kyle Carlotta said.
Authorities say the suspect was originally taken into custody by campus police at Indiana University Bloomington on Friday, where he was visiting friends. He was eventually transported early Sunday to the Porter County Sheriff’s office in Valparaiso.
Investigators indicated their case is still far from being solved and they ask anyone with any information that might give them a clearer picture about what happened to Amanda Bach to contact authorities.