The skeletal remains of Fullerton College student Lynsie Ekelund were discovered yesterday on the grounds at LARC Ranch in Bouquet Canyon.
The Coroner has not officially identified the remains as those of Ekelund, but given information revealed by Placentia Police investigators and the circumstances of her discovery, it is likely that the bones found are those of the young woman. She was buried there after she was killed in a Whittier apartment by suspect Chris McAmis almost 10 years ago.
On February 17, 2001, Ekelund and two female friends went to San Diego with McAmis. The friends arrived home safely, but Ekelund was never seen again.
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Her mother filed a missing persons report and McAmis was always considered a “person of interest” but not arrested. The initial investigation turned cold and nothing happened until 2008, when the case was reopened.
McAmis was arrested on October 27 at his home in Fullerton. He told investigators that after the San Diego trip, he took the other girls home and took Ekelund to his Whittier apartment, where he attempted to force her to have sex. Ekelund was killed in the ensuing struggle.
Remembering a construction site far from Whittier where there was a lot of open land and no one would notice fresh digging, McAmis brought the body of his 20-year old victim to Saugus, burying her near residence cottages he recently worked on with his father.
Last week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed charges of murder with special circumstances against McAmis. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and could face the death penalty, if convicted. He is scheduled for arraignment November 30.
“We’ve been talking with the Orange County people for a year,” said Kathleen Sturkey, executive director at 65-acre LARC Ranch. “They’ve had cadaver dogs here and it’s been kind of like a needle in a haystack. They’ve been so discreet and I feel so bad, knowing a mother is missing her child. At least this can give her closure.”
The 20-year old Ekelund had been severely injured in a traffic accident when she was 5 years old and was partially paralyzed on her left side.
“It’s ironic to me that she had special needs and was put to rest up here in a serene place,” Sturkey said.