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Human remains found in desert near Apache Lake ID'd as those of Mesa woman missing since 2009

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PHOENIX — Authorities say human remains found last weekend in the desert near Apache Lake have been identified as those of a missing Mesa woman.

Maricopa County Sheriff's officials say 20-year-old Jenika Brianne Fuererstein was reported missing from her Mesa home on Jan. 3, 2009.

Three men who went target shooting Sunday say they found the remains in a 45-gallon storage container that was taped shut and stashed deep inside a bush.

When the men opened the container, they were shocked to discover the skeletal remains and clothing of what they say appeared to be a young woman. The men immediately notified authorities.

Sheriff's officials said Wednesday that they're continuing to investigate Feuerstein's death as a homicide.

It's unclear how long the remains have been in the container and in the desert.

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