The body discovered over the weekend in a vacant home has been confirmed to be missing teenager Alianna DeFreeze, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner said Tuesday night.
DeFreeze, 14, was reported missing Thursday after she failed to attend school. She was last seen just before 7 a.m. exiting a Regional Transit Authority bus at E. 93rd Street and Kinsman Avenue. Her body was found Sunday night in a house in the 9400 block of Fuller Avenue by Cleveland police as they searched the area.
DeFreeze was identified through the use of dental records, the medical examiner's office said.
The death of DeFreeze, who had a mental illness, is being investigated as a homicide, police said.
Officers have spoken with the family of DeFreeze, police spokesperson, Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said in an email.
Confirmation of a DeFreeze’s death was announced several hours after city officials held a news conference asking for the community’s help and presented a $22,500 reward for information in helping authorities solve the murder case. At the time, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson described the body as one to be consistent with a “young, black girl.”
Chief Calvin Williams said officers have conducted interviews with neighbors, scoured the neighborhood and were in the process following leads.
DeFreeze was a student at E. Prep. She was described as kind and outgoing. E. Prep posted a statement on their Facebook page following the medical examiner’s identification.
Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of DeFreeze or the body found should call Cleveland police at (216) 623-5464 or Crimestoppers at (216) 252-7463 or by texting TIP657 plus your message to Crimes 274637. Tips may be provided anonymously.