TACOMA, Wash. (AP) Police and FBI agents found the body of a 12-year-old girl who was snatched from an alley behind her house during a July 4 fireworks celebration, police said.
Information provided by a man in custody on an immigration complaint led police and FBI agents to an undisclosed location in Pierce County where they found Zina Linnik's body, Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell said late Thursday.
The news brought "great anguish" to the Linnik family as well as Tacoma police and FBI agents who had worked to find the girl, Ramsdell said.
"Our hearts and prayers are with the Linnik family and we will continue to put forth our best efforts to bring the perpetrator of this senseless and horrific crime to justice," Ramsdell said.
Ramsdell did not identify the man who provided the information.
A partial license plate description of a gray van seen in the alley around the time Zina vanished led police to Terapon Adhahn, 42, a Thai immigrant who was convicted of incest in 1990.
A search of the home where Adhahn had been staying turned up "girl's undergarments," according to a search warrant return.
Adhahn denied any involvement in Zina's disappearance and said he was not in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood July 4, Detective L.J. Wade wrote in an affidavit filed in Pierce County Superior Court in support of the search warrant application.
Investigators and forensic experts from the FBI searched the home on Monday, seizing items including used vacuum cleaner filters, bedding, black plastic sheeting and the undergarments.
Adhahn was being held at a federal immigration detention in Tacoma because he could face deportation for his 1990 incest conviction, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lorie Dankers. He also has been charged in Pierce County with failing to register as a sex offender, and would face that charge before being deported.
Ramsdell took no questions Thursday night. Messages left seeking comment Thursday from Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum and the FBI were not immediately returned.
There was no immediate word on the cause of death or when the girl died.