Skeletal remains found in Ballona Wetlands during search for California woman missing since December

Skeletal remains were found Friday in the Ballona Wetlands area of Southern California during a search for missing Los Angeles woman Kolby Story.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Jader Chavez told Dateline that police have not identified the remains as the missing 32-year-old, but the Los Angeles County coroner’s office has removed the remains and is working to identify them.

Kolby Story

Kolby, who was featured in Dateline NBC’s “Missing in America” shortly after she disappeared, was last seen in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 2020, in the 12300 block of Pacific Avenue in Mar Vista, near Venice Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

She had been in Venice Beach earlier that evening and had called a friend to help find her keys. She left the beach at 2 a.m. and drove toward home, but never made it. Her car was later found in the Marina del Rey police impound lot having been towed from Ralphs in Marina del Rey.

Police descended on Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve around 10:30 a.m. Friday after some of Kolby’s personal belongings were found nearby.

There were reports that police initially responded to a call that a woman was being held against her will in a tunnel near the beach during a clearing of homeless encampments on Venice Boardwalk that morning, but when police arrived, there was no woman.

Chavez told Dateline that a Good Samaritan later found the items belonging to Kolby and handed them over to authorities. Chavez did not specify what the items were or the exact location of where they were found.

On Friday afternoon, LAPD detectives, members of the California Office of Emergency Management and K-9 search teams, conducted a massive search of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve for Kolby. Members of her family also joined in on the search.

During the search that afternoon, authorities discovered the skeletal remains which have been processed and sent to the Los Angeles County Coroner for identification.

Meanwhile, LAPD detectives are continuing to investigate and encourage anyone with information about Kolby’s case to call the police.

If you have any information, please contact Detective Shannon Kramer with the Los Angeles Missing Persons department at (213) 996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, call 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Andrea Cavallier

Andrea Cavallier is a Digital Producer for Dateline NBC. 

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