FORT MORGAN, Colo. — New developments in the case of Kayla Chadwick, a Fort Morgan teenager missing for 16 months, have finally lead investigators to the grim discovery of her remains, according to Fort Morgan Police.
Police confirmed the remains were found about a mile east of the Fort Morgan Municipal Airport, and said those remains were identified as Chadwick’s through the use of DNA on Wednesday.
The cause of death remains unknown.
Earlier this week, police announced there was new evidence and a possible new crime scene related to her disappearance in March 2012.
Kayla Chadwick was just 17 when she vanished after a fight with her boyfriend. Since then, tips coming into police have been minimal until a few weeks ago, when tips led police to execute search warrants and collect evidence that resulted in the first major break in the case.
“The longer things go, people have a tendency of giving us more information, feeling more comfortable talking with law enforcement and passing information,” Fort Morgan Police Lt. Jared Crone said. “That’s what it’s come down to at this point,”
Tips and new information led police to execute three search warrants at what they say could be a crime scene — the home of Chadwick’s ex-boyfriend, Ivan Torralba. They also searched and collected evidence in an area near his home.
Investigators say they gathered evidence at what could be a third crime scene — an isolated area off Morgan County Rd. W and Highway 52. That is where Chadwick’s remains were eventually found.
Now the hope is that Chadwick’s remains will speak volumes and lead to answers about what happened to a girl who has been gone for so long. Chadwick’s aunt, Chris Ferguson, said the family is hopeful there will be justice.
Torralba is back in jail after police found him with marijuana, which violates his bond conditions in a perjury case unrelated to Chadwick’s disappearance.