Searchers found the body of missing Santa Rosa teen Charlotte Ann Molinari in Annadel State Park on Friday, ending a two-day search for the Sonoma Academy sophomore who was last seen a week ago.
She appears to have committed suicide by hanging, Santa Rosa Police Lt. Steve Bair said. Her body was discovered about 5:30 p.m. between Canyon Trail and Skycrest Way, a street just outside the park, he said.
The Sonoma County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy Monday, Bair said.
It was a tragic discovery but not unexpected, he said. "You always hope for the best, but this is always in the back of your mind," Bair said.
"With the information we had, we knew this was a definite possibility."
The location was in a steep wooded area about 75 yards from a park trail, not far from Skycrest Way, he said.
Her family was notified before police released the information that her body had been found, Bair said.
Police said Thursday there were indications the 15-year-old Santa Rosa girl had been contemplating suicide when she did a Google search for the route to Annadel last Saturday, about an hour before she left the west Santa Rosa apartment she shared with her father.
Molinari's father found her journal Wednesday night and an entry several weeks old in which she detailed her sorrow over a romantic rejection and discussed taking her own life.
Police and the girl's parents, John Molinari and his former wife, Sebastopol resident Colleen Fernald, said they hoped she would be found unharmed, though Fernald said it was hard not to "fear the worst."
John Molinari said he was clinging to hope that police would find a useful lead among the many calls from people who thought they may have seen the ukulele-toting teen with dark curly hair.
"She obviously is a little confused and depressed, and that's why we just want to get her back safe and sound and get her some help," John Molinari said.
The girl had not been feeling well for some weeks when she argued with her father about wanting to ride her bike from their apartment near Coddingtown Mall to Annadel on the morning of April 14, he said.
He had suggested they instead find something fun to do together, but she slipped out of the house around 9:45 a.m. when he was upstairs getting dressed.
When he realized she was gone, he drove around the neighborhood and soon called family and friends in case someone had seen her.
"It's been kind of a nightmare ever since," he said.
John Molinari said he noticed that she had packed a backpack, though he didn't know what was inside and she wouldn't tell him. She also had her laptop computer and a ukulele.
He reported his daughter missing that night.
But amid the dozens of missing, mostly runaway teens reported monthly to police, her case did not stand out until Wednesday, when her father found the journal and alerted police, Bair said.
Police obtained court orders to search her cellphone, email and Internet records, Bair said. At some point, John Molinari was able to access the voicemail on her cellphone and could tell that she had not picked up any of her messages, he said.