THE decomposed body of a woman who vanished after a shopping trip to Costco has been found days after her car re-emerged.

Samantha Tomlinson, 37, went missing last December. Her skeletal remains were discovered in California’s Sierra National Forest last week.

Samantha Tomlinson's skeletal remains have been discovered in California’s Sierra National Forest

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Samantha Tomlinson’s skeletal remains have been discovered in California’s Sierra National ForestCredit: Fresno Sheriff
The Sheriff’s Office received a report of an abandoned 2002 Honda Civic on May 2

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The Sheriff’s Office received a report of an abandoned 2002 Honda Civic on May 2Credit: Fresno Sheriff

Crews had launched a new search for Samantha on May 2 after her Honda Civic was found near Shaver Lake.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office believes the car had been covered in snow throughout the winter, which is why it wasn’t found sooner.

A search crew found bones on May 4 in rough terrain about a half-mile from where the avid hiker’s car was located.

Two days later the coroner’s office confirmed the remains were Tomlinson’s via dental records, CBS 13 TV reported on Saturday.

Tomlinson, of Fresno, was reported missing on December 3 last year by her roommate who became concerned when she didn’t return from running errands.

Her dad Robert said at the time: “She loves the outdoors and she loves animals.

“That’s where we think she might be. But indications are that maybe she’s not.”

LAST TEXT

Samantha’s mom Christie added: “I texted her ‘I love you’ and she texted me, ‘I love you,’ and that was the last — that was the last we had any communication.”

No foul play is suspected, authorities said.

Police said in a statement: “On Friday, May 6th, dental records of 37-year-old Samantha Tomlinson of Fresno were compared to skeletal remains found near Shaver Lake.

“The examination confirmed the identity to be that of Samantha Tomlinson.

“She was reported to Fresno Police as a missing person on December 3rd, 2021 after she never returned home from a shopping trip.

CAR FOUND

“Shortly after the report was filed, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team, Forest Service rangers and the California Highway Patrol checked spots within the Sierra National Forest and Sequoia National Park due to Tomlinson being an avid hiker who enjoyed visiting these locations.

“Crews were never able to find Tomlinson or her car.

“On May 2nd, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of an abandoned 2002 Honda Civic near Dinkey Creek and Rock Creek Roads east of Shaver Lake.”

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“Deputies responded, checked the license plate and discovered the car belonged to Samantha Tomlinson,” police added.

“It is believed the car was previously covered in snow, which is why it wasn’t found sooner.”

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