Woman Found Dead Nearly 2 Weeks After Telling Family She Was Going to the Gym

Sara Celeste Otero, 28, was last seen on Jan. 28 in Oceanside, California after telling her stepfather she was meeting a friend

Sara Celeste Otero
Photo: Oceanside police department/ facebook

The body of a California woman has been found nearly two weeks after she was last seen in late January.

According to the Oceanside Police Department, 28-year-old Sara Otero was last seen the morning of Jan. 28. Otero left her mother's house in a Subaru Outback that morning, NBC station KNSD reported.

On Wednesday, officials announced they found Otero's vehicle at a rest stop on Interstate 5 and subsequently searched the area, CBS station KFMB reported. They eventually found Otero's body at the bottom of a cliff, located in a restricted training area of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the outlets reported.

"The police found her body," Otero's stepsister, Chelsea, said on Wednesday, according to Fox News. "We were able to identify it based on her tattoos."

In a police flyer posted to Facebook on Feb. 4, they described Otero as having a tattoo that reads "It's in our nature" on her right bicep and a Winnie the Pooh tattoo on her ankle. She also had a flower tattoo on her arm.

Oceanside Police did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment but told KFMB they have not found anything suspicious in Otero's death. Additionally, Fox News reported that investigators do not suspect foul play.

Chelsea said Otero had told her stepfather she was going to the gym to meet a friend before she went missing, the outlet reported. When contacted, the friend said they were unaware of any plans that day.

Otero's stepbrother, Ryan Bear, told Fox News that the family hoped she had was simply taking some time for herself at the beach. But when she didn't show up to work, they recognized something was wrong.

"She had never missed a day of work," he told the outlet.

Chelsea said Otero was in a relationship with someone she had only met over Zoom, and that he had been at work at the time of her disappearance.

"He's pretty devastated," she told Fox News.

Otero and her boyfriend experienced difficulties after she revealed she was depressed, and Otero also struggled with substance abuse, Chelsea explained to Fox News.

"She's grappling with a lot, she shared that she was feeling depressed…it's affected their relationship," she told the outlet.

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Before her body was found, Bear had shared a public message to her in the hopes she would return home.

"You're loved. You're cared about and we want you to come home," he said in his message to KFMB. "We hope that there is still hope out there to be had. And we're holding onto that."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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