WHITTIER (CNS / FOX 11) - A young woman whose decomposing body was found in a car in an unincorporated area near Whittier had been shot and the vehicle had been reported stolen, authorities said Monday.
The woman was identified as 19-year-old Dawn McEveety of Huntington Beach, said Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez.
Deputies discovered the remains about 1:10 p.m. Sunday inside a 1991 Toyota Celica Hatchback in the 8600 block of Bradwell Avenue when they responded to an "abandoned vehicle'' report, according to the sheriff's department.
The deputies immediately smelled the strong odor of decomposition, Navarro-Suarez said. They opened the vehicle and found the body entombed in a large container in the rear cargo area.
"The cause of death appears to be a gunshot wound,'' Navarro-Suarez said. "The investigation is ongoing, and there is no additional information available at this time.''
Maureen McEveety-Sepa, the woman's mother, told news outlets the discovery of her daughter's body is "a parent's worst nightmare.''
"We were always worried that something like this might happen when she got with the wrong crowd,'' she said.
Her daughter, adopted when she was 16-months-old after being born drug-addicted, has not lived with her parents for the past 18 months and rarely returned phone calls, McEveety-Sepa said of the young woman, who went by the name Molly.
She was a wonderful child, but got into drugs and began running with the wrong people when she hit her teen years, McEveety-Sepa told new outlets, adding that her daughter also had a stint in rehab, but then began using again.
McEveety-Sepa said she last spoke to her daughter two months ago, when the young woman was in jail for an alleged drug offense.
Anyone with more information on the case was asked to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.