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Family and friends of missing woman left with questions after remains found

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A missing persons case has transitioned to something much more serious.

Detectives identified human remains discovered northeast of the valley as a young Mesa woman who vanished more than five years-ago.

Jenika Feurestein was 20 when she went missing back in 2009; her disappearance was considered out of character for her.
    
Feurenstein's family is getting some closure, but they are still searching for answers as to what exactly happened to her.

After five years of searching and wondering Jenika's family, finally knows where she is.

But the discovery of her remains has sparked a new mystery; What happened to her? And who dumped her body near Apache Lake?
    
Three men who went target shooting near the lake on Sunday came across a plastic storage container, that was duct-taped, sealed, and stashed in a bush.

They opened it and discovered the remains of 20 year-old Jenika Feuerstein. She went missing on January 3, 2009, her missing persons case becoming much more serious.

"We're treating this as a homicide investigation," said Brandon Jones.

Maricopa County Sheriff's investigators are now looking into how Jenika died and who put her in that container.

The grim discovery closed one chapter for Jenika's family. Her mother posting this on Facebook: "We are grateful to the men that discovered her remains and called the authorities. It has been a long five years not having any answers. Thank you, to everyone that supported us in searches, and passing out posters and just for encouraging words."

Family and friends have never given up looking for Jenika.

According to a Facebook page that was set up during the search Jenika texted a friend the night of January 3rd, 2009 and said she would be coming over to his house, but she never showed up.

She also texted her roommate that she would be coming home but never arrived.

Jenika was last seen with a 48 year-old ex-felon. He later told Jenika's friends that he dropped her off at her apartment the night she went missing.

Investigators have not named any suspects in Jenika's disappearance.

"There are things that are not releasable because we want to catch the predator," said Jones.

Medical examiners and forensic anthropologists are investigating Jenika's skeletal remains for answers. Experts say they will likely look for signs of trauma, fractures in her bones, or any evidence of a gunshot wound.

Investigators will also look at the storage container for fingerprints or DNA left by whoever put her there.

It may take several weeks before they determine how Jenika died.

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