Friends recall Oklahoma City woman whose body was found in duffel bag

The body found in a duffel bag behind a Homeland grocery store at NW 23 and Rockwell Avenue was identified as 19-year-old Carina B. Saunders, who was reported missing to Oklahoma City police Sept. 28.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Modified: October 18, 2011 at 12:11 am •  Published: October 17, 2011
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— The body found in a duffel bag behind a Homeland store is a missing Oklahoma City woman.

Carina B. Saunders, 19, was identified using dental records Monday afternoon, Bethany Police Chief Phil Cole said.

Saunders was reported missing to Oklahoma City police Sept. 28. She was last seen alive near NW 41 and MacArthur Boulevard on Oct. 8 or 9, Cole said.

A cause of death was not released Monday by the state medical examiner's office, nor had a suspect been named.

Bethany police had gone through missing person records and given the records on at least one missing person to the medical examiner.

A woman who answered Saunders' mother's telephone Monday evening identified herself as an aunt. She said the family was not doing interviews.

Posted on the “Carina Come Home” Facebook page was “Carina's father and I need to inform all of you that Carina has gone home to be with her Lord and Savior. We wanted to let everyone close to her know before you found out on the news. Thank you so much for all your prayers, and love and support. Please keep them coming as our family is going through this time of trial.”

In the choir

Emily Julum said she was in varsity choir with Saunders at Mustang High School for two years. Julum, 20, graduated in 2009, and Saunders was a year behind her.

“She was talented, she was beautiful, and she wasn't afraid to speak her mind,” Julum said.

“We were in varsity choir together and everyone in our varsity choir was so closely knit. We traveled so much, and that's probably why we were so close. We were always around each other. It was so much fun,” Julum said.

Saunders was a soprano and Julum was an alto, so while they may have been at opposite ends of the stage, they gravitated toward each other during breaks, she said.

“She was really cool and laid back. She was so nice, but she was so tough at the same time,” Julum said.

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