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Dalton Walker
Indian Country Today

The missing Mashpee Wampanoag citizen found dead near a Florida interstate in November was shot and killed.

Jalajhia Finklea, 18, was reported missing in October from her New Bedford, Massachusetts, home. Her body was found Nov. 25 in a field off Interstate 95 in Fellsmere, Florida.

On Friday, Bristol County, Massachusetts, District Attorney Thomas Quinn announced that an autopsy done in Florida identified Finklea, and her death was caused by two gunshot wounds.

Finklea was last seen Oct. 20 in New Bedford, and local media reported she was five months pregnant when she disappeared. Quinn’s announcement doesn’t mention Finklea being pregnant.

(Related: Missing Mashpee teen found dead)

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Finklea was last seen getting into a car with Luis Zaragoza. On Nov. 5, Zaragoza was shot and killed by U.S. marshals in Florida in an arrest attempt, Quinn said.

Law enforcement found a typed note on Zaragoza’s phone, Quinn said, that detailed depression and said he “snapped” when Finklea was in the car with him. It included the message, “She is gone.” The phone also provided directions to where Finklea was found in Florida, Quinn said.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the family, and my heart goes out to them,” Quinn said. “This brutal crime was clearly committed by somebody with a depraved mind.”

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Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, is a national correspondent at Indian Country Today. Follow him on Twitter: @daltonwalker Walker is based in Phoenix and enjoys Arizona winters.

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