Palo Alto runaway teen identified as murdered

A troubled teenage girl ran away from her adopted Palo Alto family more than 30 years ago and was never heard from by her family again.

Now, more than 21 years after her strangled body was found in an Illinois field, the FBI identified her as the long-ago missing teen.

Eulalia Mylia Chavez was 27 years old at the time of her 1986 murder. She had been adopted by Sonja Wilcomer and her family in Palo Alto when the Costa Rican girl was 2 1/2 years old. The girl ran away from home several times as a teenager, Wilcomer told the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat, and then one day in 1974 or 1975 simply vanished.

"I had no idea what kind of life she was living," Wilcomer, who could not be reached for comment, told the Belleville newspaper. "I was always fearful that something would happen to her."

A farmer found her unclothed body in a field in September 1986.

The St. Clair County, Ill., Sheriff's Department held a press conference last Friday to announce that the FBI had identified Chavez, 21 years after her murder, through her fingerprints.

St. Clair County is located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo.

-- Don Kazak


Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm

This is a very sad story. My heart goes out to her mother and brother. I saw an interview with them on tv last night.

I hope that this knowledge helps and that more can be done to find her murderer.

My prayers are with you.

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