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Waco police: Recovered vehicle belongs to missing 43-year-old Stephanie Torres

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Posted at 3:18 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 10:40:51-04

UPDATE:

An autopsy has confirmed that the body found inside a car recovered from the Brazos River is Stephanie Torres, said police.

The cause of death was determined as inconclusive, according to the Waco Police Department.

Additionally, one of the other two vehicles found during the initial search was found to have been reported stolen in 2013.

The second one was unrecoverable, said Waco police.

No additional bodies were found in either of the two vehicles.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Waco Police Investigators have confirmed that a recovered vehicle belongs to missing 43-year-old Stephanie Torres.

The VIN number of the recovered vehicle was confirmed to be of Torres’ vehicle.

"A body was also recovered from the car and due to the current state of the body, investigators are not able to positively identify if the body found is Torres’," said police.

Police said Judge Lee was called to the scene and Torres’ family has been notified. Investigators will provide an update once the autopsy is complete.

The recovery of the vehicle began after Adventure With Purpose received tips about the disappearance of Torres. The Oregon-based dive team, searched the river Wednesday morning around 9 a.m., police said. The team quickly notified law enforcement shortly after making the discovery.

"Viewers, family, friends, they all reached out to us and they said, 'Hey, did you hear about Stephanie Torres?'" founder Jared Leisek said.

They hope to bring answers to families of cold cases, like the case involving Torres.

"No matter what, they have answers as to where their lost loved one is not, or they have answers to where their lost loved one is," he said.

Waco police said divers have found a bone fragment inside a submerged vehicle, they say resembles one belonging to a woman last seen in 2017.

Authorities said one of the three vehicles recovered is similar to one owned by Stephanie Torres, who was 42 years old at the time of her disappearance in December of 2017.

Police said a bone fragment was found inside the vehicle, and crime scene investigators are working to identify the remains.

"The bone fragment and the vehicle are now being processed for evidence," Waco police said.

The dive team said on Facebook they started their search with Torres' daughter, Bianca, earlier this morning.

"In less than an hour, our teams identified 3 targets 13 feet underwater at the East Boat Ramp," the post said.

The organization also assisted the Bosque County Sheriff's Office last week in a 13-year-old cold case search of Lake Whitney for the remains of John Creech.

Torres was seen leaving her residence in the 700 block of Rusk Street.

Police said she left her wallet and cell phone behind when she left home.

Her family said they believed she was intoxicated, had suicidal thoughts, and may have been in danger to herself at the time.

"A search began for Ms. Torres, however, every lead came up empty," said Waco police on Wednesday. "The case was later suspended in February 2019, pending no additional evidence."