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Missing Morrow teen confirmed dead

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

Clayton County Police have confirmed that the body of a female, discovered last week in a vacant Jonesboro building, is that of a Morrow teenager, who had been missing since Oct. 16.

According to Officer Otis Willis, III, a Clayton County Police spokesman, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the body is that of 17-year-old Monica Ambriz.

At the time the body was discovered, police spokesperson, Capt. Tina Daniel, said it was found at 315 Arrowhead Blvd., near Popeyes restaurant, in an office complex.

She added that a Realtor came across the body, while showing the empty building to a client, around 6 p.m., last Tuesday. At that time, Daniel said police suspected foul play in the disappearance of Ambriz, but did not give any details. Tuesday, Willis said police know how Ambriz died, but did not release the cause of death. He said that, on the day Ambriz was last seen alive, she went on a lunch break, while on her job at El Progresso #7, located at 6463 Tara Blvd., in the Southside Discount Mall.

On the day of Ambriz's disappearance, police said a text message was sent from Ambriz's cell phone, to her sister, and that the text "used correct grammar, which is not common for her [Monica Ambriz]," said Willis. He added that Ambriz normally used abbreviations or acronyms.

"The vehicle she was traveling in was recovered," said Willis. Ambriz's cell phone was found in the vehicle, according to a Clayton County Police Department missing person's report.

"Two witnesses said they saw her at the El Jungla restaurant on Metropolitan [Parkway] in Atlanta later that night [Oct. 16]," the report said. Ambriz was reportedly also known to frequent the NOA NOA club in Gwinnett County. Police are following leads regarding Ambriz's death, Willis said. "There is an ongoing homicide investigation," he said. He added that Spanish-speaking officers with the police force are available to translate, if necessary, for anyone who has information about Ambriz's death.

Willis added that anyone who witnessed suspicious people or vehicles at the Southside Discount Mall -- which is where Ambriz was last seen -- is asked to contact Clayton County Detective Chris Helton, at (770) 477-3781.