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Remains of Teen Who Went Missing In 1968 Finally Discovered

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The remains of a Mentone teen who vanished 44 years ago have finally been found and identified.Elizabeth Ernstein, 14, disappeared without a trace on a walk home from her junior high on March 19, 1968. She lived only two miles from school on a route that took her through an orange grove. Her disappearance became a national story, and her parents Norman and Ruth sent out 10,200 letters to newspapers in the hopes of finding out what happened to their daughter.

Months after her disappearance, her mother told a newspaper: "I can face the daytime better than the night,' adding, 'At night, I find myself asking: is she safe? Is she warm? Is she being fed? And finally…is she alive?'"

Until now, her parents never figured out for certain whether she was alive or dead.

But this year cold case detective decided to take another look at the case, according to the Associated Press. Detectives received some sort of information (that they wouldn't discuss), prompting them to take a second look at some remains that had been discovered in 1969. They had been discovered in a shallow grave about 35 miles west of her home in Wrightwood about a year after she went missing and then reburied in a San Bernardino County Cemetery.

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The county decided to exhume the remains and compare its DNA to Ernstein's siblings: it was a match.

Now that Ernstein's remains have finally been definitely identified, detectives are working to figure out why the 14-year-old disappeared and how she was murdered so many decades ago.