What happened to Kelly Marelich?
It has been nine months since vagrants found the body of the 22-year-old Sierra High graduate in a dumpster behind a dental clinic on South Main Street. The San Joaquin County Coroner’s official report is still awaiting a final signature for the case to be closed out.
That final step in the process has been ongoing for the last three months.
Other than stating that Marelich was the victim of an apparent homicide, the Manteca Police Department has been mum on the issue ever since. Information obtained from a highly-visible search of a motel room on Moffat Boulevard during the middle of the day has not been released, and no suspects were every publicly named.
No arrests have been made either.
The coroner’s report, which will determine the young woman’s exact cause of death, has been in the last phase – “awaiting a supervisor’s signature” – since the middle of October.
In an interview with The Bulletin less than a month after the grisly discovery, Marelich’s mother said that she’d rather not know what happened to her daughter – that her heart was already broken enough and those details would only made the situation worse. Marelich’s father had been the one speaking on behalf of the family to the throngs of reporters that came out to cover the story.
According to the San Joaquin County Coroner’s office website, the standard report involves the scene investigation completed by the officer, the autopsy report as prepared by the pathologist and the toxicology report as prepared by the laboratory. The standard wait for such, the website states, is 90 days.
Officials have said that it’s not uncommon for a homicide case or one with lots of physical evidence that needs to be processed to take longer than that – specifying that as long as 6 months isn’t out of the question.
It took the office just 24 hours to determine and release the cause of death of a homeless man who was found near an encampment along the 300 block of North Main Street near the Union Pacific Railroad tracks back in June. The property owner that spotted the man thought he was just sleeping.