Missing California teenager Trinity Backus found dead, sheriff’s office confirms

By | November 12, 2022

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A 16-year-old girl not seen since Wednesday has been discovered dead a half a mile from her aunt’s home in Northern California.

The corpse, belonging to Nevada County resident Trinity Backus, was discovered in a densely forested river drainage region north of her aunt Ashley Bjorklund’s residence on Kentucky Ravine Road, where she had been sleeping Wednesday night.

Backus, a local basketball standout at Nevada Union High School, had been having a sleepover with a friend at Bjorklund’s home when she disappeared. 

Cops said the teen walked away from the home in pajamas at around 10:30 pm, reportedly to see her boyfriend, but never came back. She had not been wearing shoes when she disappeared, police said.

According to the local sheriff’s office, a cause of death has yet to be determined in the case -however, officials said they have gathered ‘nothing suspicious’ about it as of this point. An investigation is currently ongoing.

Trinity Backus’s body was discovered in a densely forested river drainage region north of her aunt Ashley Bjorklund’s residence on Kentucky Ravine Road, where she had been having a sleepover with a friend Wednesday night

Cops said the teen walked away from the home barefoot at around 10:30 pm and never came home. Police said they have so far found 'nothing suspicious' in her death

Cops said the teen walked away from the home barefoot at around 10:30 pm and never came home. Police said they have so far found 'nothing suspicious' in her death

Cops said the teen walked away from the home barefoot at around 10:30 pm and never came home. Police said they have so far found ‘nothing suspicious’ in her death

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said search and rescue teams located the missing teen’s body near her aunt’s 12-acre property.  

‘Shortly after 2pm today, search and rescue teams located Trinity, unfortunately she was deceased,’ the update read.

‘Trinity was located approximately 1/2 mile north of the residence she was last seen at in a very heavily wooded river drainage area.’

In a Facebook post, the sheriff's office said search and rescue teams located the missing teen's body near her aunt's 12-acre property, 'in a very heavily wooded river drainage area'

In a Facebook post, the sheriff's office said search and rescue teams located the missing teen's body near her aunt's 12-acre property, 'in a very heavily wooded river drainage area'

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said search and rescue teams located the missing teen’s body near her aunt’s 12-acre property, ‘in a very heavily wooded river drainage area’

Police noted that while Backus’ cause of death is unknown, coroner’s soon will be conducting their own investigation, including an autopsy. 

‘At this point there is nothing suspicious,’ officers said, following a sprawling search that spanned the past two days

‘We have been in communication with the family and extend our deepest condolences to them as they work through this loss. We ask that you please respect their privacy.’

The update came as crushing news to the girl’s family and other residents of the scene mountain community who had been hoping the teen would make her way back home.

‘It’s just too horrific,’ one resident, Tony Loro, told CBS News

Backus, a local basketball standout at Nevada Union High School, had been having a sleepover with a friend at Bjorklund's home when she disappeared. Cops said the teen walked away from the home in pajamas at around 10:30 pm to see her boyfriend, but never came back

Backus, a local basketball standout at Nevada Union High School, had been having a sleepover with a friend at Bjorklund's home when she disappeared. Cops said the teen walked away from the home in pajamas at around 10:30 pm to see her boyfriend, but never came back

Backus, a local basketball standout at Nevada Union High School, had been having a sleepover with a friend at Bjorklund’s home when she disappeared. Cops said the teen walked away from the home in pajamas at around 10:30 pm to see her boyfriend, but never came back

The update came as crushing news to the girl's family and other residents of the scene mountain community who had been hoping the teen would make her way back home

The update came as crushing news to the girl's family and other residents of the scene mountain community who had been hoping the teen would make her way back home

The update came as crushing news to the girl’s family and other residents of the scene mountain community who had been hoping the teen would make her way back home

Police noted that while Backus' cause of death is unknown, coroner's soon will be conducting their own investigation, including an autopsy. The death has not yet been ruled a homicide

Police noted that while Backus' cause of death is unknown, coroner's soon will be conducting their own investigation, including an autopsy. The death has not yet been ruled a homicide

Police noted that while Backus’ cause of death is unknown, coroner’s soon will be conducting their own investigation, including an autopsy. The death has not yet been ruled a homicide

Authorities from numerous state and cite agencies took part in the search for Backus, which began Thursday morning after her aunt reported her missing.

The girl’s mother, Andrea Stanio, told local outlet KCRA that she last saw her daughter Wednesday at around 3 pm, and that she got a call from the girl’s aunt at roughly 10:47 pm that Trinity had left her home ‘running.’

‘That doesn’t seem like her,’ said Stanio, who would then drive over to Bjorklund’s house – roughly 20 minutes from her own – to investigate. When she arrived, her daughter was nowhere to be found. 

‘I didn’t see Trinity on the side of the road,’ Stanio said, adding, ‘The last time I saw my daughter was picking up my youngest daughter from school and dropping her (Trinity) off.’

The girl's mother, Andrea Stanio, told local outlet KCRA that she last saw her daughter Wednesday at around 3 pm, and that she got a call from the girl's aunt at roughly 10:47 pm that Trinity had left her home 'running,' leaving her slippers behind

The girl's mother, Andrea Stanio, told local outlet KCRA that she last saw her daughter Wednesday at around 3 pm, and that she got a call from the girl's aunt at roughly 10:47 pm that Trinity had left her home 'running,' leaving her slippers behind

The girl’s mother, Andrea Stanio, told local outlet KCRA that she last saw her daughter Wednesday at around 3 pm, and that she got a call from the girl’s aunt at roughly 10:47 pm that Trinity had left her home ‘running,’ leaving her slippers behind

Before she vanished, Stanio claimed that Trinity informed her aunt she was heading to her boyfriend's house in Green Valley, which is roughly 10 miles away from where she reportedly set off on foot

Before she vanished, Stanio claimed that Trinity informed her aunt she was heading to her boyfriend's house in Green Valley, which is roughly 10 miles away from where she reportedly set off on foot

Before she vanished, Stanio claimed that Trinity informed her aunt she was heading to her boyfriend’s house in Green Valley, which is roughly 10 miles away from where she reportedly set off on foot

She said she had been taking her youngest up to see the first snow on some of the nearby mountains.

 ‘I was taking my youngest daughter up to to the snow. I said, ‘I love you Trin,’ Those were the last words I said to my daughter.’ 

Before she vanished, Stanio claimed that Trinity informed her aunt she was heading to her boyfriend’s house in Green Valley, which is roughly 10 miles away from her aunt’s home. 

The family did not divulge the identity of Backus’ boyfriend, nor whether he had been expecting the teen. Stanio said that going missing was not typical behavior for her daughter.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, in the meantime, is still assessing the the case, which sparked an unprecedented search Thursday consisting of nearly a dozen agencies, 140 people, search dogs, and even aircraft.

Authorities from numerous state and cite agencies took part in the search for Backus, which began Thursday morning after her aunt reported her missing

Authorities from numerous state and cite agencies took part in the search for Backus, which began Thursday morning after her aunt reported her missing

Authorities from numerous state and cite agencies took part in the search for Backus, which began Thursday morning after her aunt reported her missing

The Nevada County Sheriff's Office, in the meantime, is still assessing the the case, which sparked an unprecedented search Thursday consisting of nearly a dozen agencies, 140 people, search dogs, and even aircraft throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains region

The Nevada County Sheriff's Office, in the meantime, is still assessing the the case, which sparked an unprecedented search Thursday consisting of nearly a dozen agencies, 140 people, search dogs, and even aircraft throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains region

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, in the meantime, is still assessing the the case, which sparked an unprecedented search Thursday consisting of nearly a dozen agencies, 140 people, search dogs, and even aircraft throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains region

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the California Highway Patrol all participated in the search. 

Crews were assisted by a FIRIS infrared plane, typically utilized to track the spread of wildfires, searching for Backus throughout the night. 

The Butte County Sheriff’s search and rescue team, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, the California Rescue Dog Association, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office also aided in the search effort – which concluded Friday after officials made the grim discovery.

A cause of death, officials said, will likely be released by the coroner in the coming days.

Police’s probe – which has not been declared a homicide – is ongoing. 

A cause in Backus' death, officials said, will be released by the coroner in the coming days. The teen is pictured with a friend earlier this year

A cause in Backus' death, officials said, will be released by the coroner in the coming days. The teen is pictured with a friend earlier this year

A cause in Backus’ death, officials said, will be released by the coroner in the coming days. The teen is pictured with a friend earlier this year

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