by Maria Sunantha Quibilan/Asianjournal.com
MILL VALLEY – Filipino American IRS agent Veronica Ruiz, who had been missing in California since December 3, has been confirmed dead. The Marin County coroner’s office was able to confirm through dental records that the body of a female found on Mount Tamalpais Sunday afternoon was Ruiz’s and that she had apparently committed suicide by shooting herself in the head.
The Marin County’s search and rescue team found the body during a training exercise in a very secluded area surrounded by dense brush. They found Ruiz’s government-issued handgun by her side and her purse containing her US Treasury Department photo identification at the place of her death.
According to reports, the 25-year-old Ruiz was despondent after a breakup with her boyfriend when she went missing from her hometown of Mill Valley. On the day of her disappearance, she had cancelled lunch with a friend and called in sick to work in the morning. That afternoon, Ruiz informed friends that she was going trail hiking. At 10 p.m. that same day, she was reported missing.
Two days after, on December 5, all official search efforts were suspended and the Ruiz family organized their own search, putting up a website and calling upon volunteers.
The confirmation of Ruiz’s death ends the search that lasted more than a month and involved hundreds of volunteers, which included federal agents and Ruiz’s colleagues in the IRS.
The latest message posted on the website set up to aid in the search for Ruiz reads: “The family and friends of Veronica Ruiz would wholeheartedly like to thank all our volunteers for all their efforts in the search. Your prayers, awareness created, supplies and monetary donations have contributed to bringing resolution to our family.”
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced later by the Ruiz family.