Skeletal remains found in Ballona Wetlands identified as a 32-year-old woman who vanished in 2020: LAPD

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Skeletal remains located Friday in the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve near Marina del Rey have been identified as Kolby Story, a 32-year-old woman who went missing in December, the LAPD confirmed in a brief statement on Friday. 

Kolby, who was featured in Dateline NBC’s “Missing in America” shortly after she disappeared, was last seen in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 2020, in the 12300 block of Pacific Avenue in Mar Vista, near Venice Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

She had been in Venice Beach earlier that evening and had called a friend to help find her keys. She left the beach at 2 a.m. and drove toward home, but never made it. Her car was later found in the Marina del Rey police impound lot having been towed from Ralphs in Marina del Rey.

She hadn’t been seen or heard from since.

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Police descended on Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve around 10:30 a.m. Friday while some of Kolby’s personal belongings were found nearby, which alerted both officials and loved ones to gather for another search.

On Friday, there were reports that police initially responded to a call that a woman was being held against her will in a tunnel near the beach during a clearing of homeless encampments on Venice Boardwalk that morning, but when police arrived, there was no woman.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Jader Chavez told Dateline that a Good Samaritan later found the items belonging to Kolby and handed them over to authorities. LAPD detectives are continuing to investigate and encourage anyone with information about Kolby’s case to call the police. 

The investigation is still underway and no further details were immediately available.

If you have any information about Kolby’s case, please contact the Los Angeles Missing Persons department at (213) 996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, call 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.