(CNN) — The searcher who found the body of missing nursing student Michelle Le over the weekend in northern California knows personal loss herself.
Carrie McGonigle’s daughter, Amber Dubois, was raped and murdered two years ago in San Diego
Le, a nursing student, disappeared May 27 after telling classmates at a Hayward hospital that she was getting something from her car, authorities said. Her abandoned car was later found about a half-mile away.
Police identified her badly decomposed remains Monday, two days after McGonigle found them.
McGonigle and her search dog found the remains Saturday in Alameda, California, authorities said.
After her daughter’s death in 2009, McGonigle started a group that helps with searches for missing children nationwide, the Hayward Police Department said in a statement.
Police have classified Le’s case as a homicide and arrested Giselle Esteban earlier in September. Evidence — including blood stains, security camera footage, cell phone records and DNA found on a shoe — led to the arrest, authorities said.
A judge sentenced John Gardner to three consecutive terms of life without parole for raping and murdering Dubois and another teen.