Human remains discovered outside an abandoned Virginia home earlier this week are that of missing college freshman Anjelica "AJ" Hadsell, Norfolk police confirmed.
A cause of death for 18-year-old Hadsell, who disappeared from her Norfolk home March 2, has not been released.
Her mother released a statement thanking Norfolk police, the FBI and search teams for their help in locating her daughter.
"It has been confirmed by the coroner's office that it is in fact AJ. Please respect this time as we need to release emotionally. Your prayers are appreciated from the public!" Jennifer Hadsell said according to the station.
The Norfolk Police Department said it is still investigating Hadsell's death. Foul play was not initially suspected when she went missing from her home while on spring break. But that changed weeks later as police delved further into the investigation.
In late March, Hadsell's father Wesley Hadsell, who reportedly adopted her, was arrested for allegedly breaking into the home of a man he claimed had knowledge of his daughter's whereabouts.
He says he has nothing to do with AJ's disappearance and remains held at the Norfolk City Jail, WTKR reported.
Investigators focused their attention Thursday and Friday on a wooded area behind the house located south of Franklin as they searched for evidence, but it is not clear if anything was found.
According to residents in the area, about three weeks ago a friend of a neighbor saw a blue or black Dodge Caravan with no lights on pull into the home's driveway and drive behind the house, the station reported.
Those who knew AJ described her as intelligent, loyal and funny.
"That's how I remember her, as an amazing person. There's just a hole in my heart for her," an unnamed friend told the station.
"None of it feels real. This just feels like a terrible nightmare."