MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. -- Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies have identified the remains of the human body found near Apache Lake on Sunday as Jenika Brianne Feuerstein.
Feuerstein was 20 years old when she went missing from her Mesa home on January 3, 2009.
Sheriff’s detectives continue to investigate the death of Feuerstein.
Three men who went target shooting in the desert near Apache Lake on Sunday made the gruesome discovery -- human remains in a large plastic container.
"My heart just dropped to my stomach," said 27-year-old Chandler resident Martine Contreras, as he described what he found. "I got kids of my own so I would never wish this on nobody."
Contreras was with his younger brother and a friend when the men found the container that was taped shut and stashed deep inside a bush.
When the men opened the container, they were shocked to discover the skeletal remains and clothing of what Contreras said appeared to be a young small female.
"Her sandals were maybe like this big so I'm guessing maybe anywhere from like 9 to 13," explained Contreras. "She might have been pretty small."
Feuerstein is described as 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 90 pounds.
The group then notified the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded to the scene and confirmed on Monday that the discovery is being investigated as a homicide.