Body to Missing Massachusetts Teen Found in Florida

Jalajhia Finklea had last been seen getting into a rental car driven by a Florida man near her mother’s home in New Bedford on Oct. 20

Authorities say a body believed to be missing 18-year-old Jalajhia Finklea of Massachusetts was found Wednesday in Florida.

The body was found around noon in a field off Interstate 95 in Fellsmere, Florida, the Bristol District Attorney’s Office announced.

A positive identification has yet to be made, the district attorney’s office said. An autopsy will be conducted in Florida to positively identify the body and to determine the cause and manner of death, which is believed to be homicide.

The Massachusetts teen was pregnant at the time of her disappearance, according to police records obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators.

Finklea had last been seen getting into a rental car driven by a Florida man near her mother’s home in New Bedford on the afternoon of Oct. 20, according to police.

Law enforcement agencies tracked the car through several states, and later killed the driver, 37-year-old Luis Zaragoza, in a shootout in a Florida parking lot.

Family, friends, police and other authorities are searching for 18-year-old Jalajhia Finklea, who went missing from New Bedford on Oct. 20 with a man who was killed in a confrontation with Florida police.

In paperwork attached to a criminal complaint, a New Bedford police detective wrote that Finklea was five months pregnant when she disappeared.

As first reported by The Cape Cod Times, the 17-year-old (she turned 18 the day after her disappearance) underwent a medical procedure in Boston on the day she vanished, according to police. She was due to return to Boston the following day for another appointment, police said.

Finklea’s mother told police she last saw Finklea when she left to fill a prescription around 4:50 p.m. When she returned to her apartment in New Bedford, Finklea was gone