Moses Lake Police say the body of Yanira Cedillos was found in Walla Walla County.

The body of the Moses Lake mother was found in a remote area off Highway 12 near Wallula Junction this past Thursday and positively identified on Monday. Cedillos had been missing since March 4th. Detectives believe Cedillos was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Juan Gastelum.

Moses Lake Police Department
Moses Lake Police Department

Moses Lake Police received information that the suspect's phone was tracked in the Wallula Junction area for several minutes the morning Yadira went missing. Detectives searched the area on Thursday and within minutes located a deceased female in a sleeping bag. The body was covered with tree limbs and leaves.

At the time the body was found, detectives weren't able to confirm the identity. The body was transported to the Spokane Medical Examiner's Office. After an autopsy on Monday, the Spokane Medical Examiner positively identified the body as Yanira Cedillos. Detectives are now working with the Grant County Prosecutor’s Office to get a conviction.


Gastelum is currently at the Umatilla County Jail awaiting extradition back to Grant County to face charges.

From the Moses Lake Police Department Facebook page:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Yanira’s family and friends. Yanira’s family have been side by side with us throughout this entire investigation. Although the outcome is not what anyone wanted, it brings us comfort that we were able to find Yanira and bring her back to her family. We would also like to thank everyone in this community that has assisted with searching for Yanira and all the support that her family has received during this difficult time.

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