Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, believe a body found in a park in Maryland is that of a woman who went missing earlier this month, officials said Friday. Her ex-boyfriend is still sought on a murder charge.
Hannah Choi, 35, disappeared from her home in the Kingstowne area on March 5, police said earlier this month. Joel Mosso Merino, 27, is wanted for second-degree murder and disposal of a body.
A body was found in a wooded area of Piscataway Park, Fairfax County police said they learned Thursday morning. Crews had previously searched 800 acres of the park for days without results.
“Tentatively, detectives believe the body found is Hannah Choi,” police said in a statement.
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A medical examiner will identify the victim and their manner of death.
“We are relieved to know that Hannah has been found," Choi's family said in a statement. "Our family finally has an opportunity for closure and requests privacy at this difficult time.”
Merino, Choi’s ex-boyfriend, is still missing, police said. Police Chief Kevin Davis previously called him “Fairfax County’s most wanted.”
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He stands 5-foot-7 and weighs 230 pounds. He may be using a different name, and police received a tip he was in the Atlanta area. Anyone who knows Merino’s whereabouts should call 911, as he may be dangerous, police said.
Choi was a “bright, caring, amazing young woman with the world at her reach,” Maj. Ed O’Carroll said.