LAVEEN, Ariz. – The young woman whose body was found on the side of the road in a remote area Saturday morning has been identified.
Brittany Hines, 19, was last seen in Lancaster, California, with her 7-month-old daughter Heaven Marie Smith.
Once Hines’ body was identified, a search was launched for her baby, whose whereabouts were unknown. Heaven was with Hines when she left California earlier in the week, and because she wasn’t with other family members, investigators feared the worst.
Sunday, authorities were notified that the child was in the care of Child Protective Services in California. Someone had dropped the baby off with social service workers in Los Angeles County on Friday.
Dove hunters discovered Hines’ body Saturday in the area of 61st Ave and Elliot Rd in Laveen.
Hines has no known family ties to Arizona and it’s unclear why she was in the state.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Detective Aaron Douglas says his office is working hard to find out what brought Hines to Arizona. There was no vehicle nearby, so it’s not clear how she got there.
“We have no idea she got there, we don’t know about friends or anything like that… why there. It isn’t close to the highways,” says Douglas.
The medical examiner’s report is due Monday and the investigation is ongoing.