A body found last week in a shallow grave outside Los Angeles was identified as that of Sandra Rosas, the wife of Los Lobos singer Cesar Rosas, who was kidnapped and murdered by her half brother last year, police said on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the remains, found Nov. 22 near a dirt road in the suburb of Santa Clarita and consisting mostly of bones, were identified using dental records.
Los Angeles County Coroner's Office spokesman Scott Carrier said an autopsy had been scheduled to determine the cause of death but that results, if any, were not expected for six to eight weeks.
"It's an ongoing process because it's skeletonized remains," Carrier said. "We need to have an anthropologist assist our medical examiner determine if there is any injury to any of these bones."
Carrier said that the examination might not determine the cause of death because Rosas, 47, might have been killed by a means that did not result to trauma to the bones.
Rosas disappeared from her East Los Angeles home in October 1999 while her husband — a founding member of the Grammy-winning rock band Los Lobos — was away on tour.
Her disappearance was reported by her children, who came home to find the front door to their home open and smashed glass from her van, indicating a struggle.
The van was found abandoned a few days later, and it contained traces of the blood of both Rosas and her half brother, Gabriel Gomez.
Gomez, 40, was arrested and ultimately was convicted last month of her murder. He was sentenced Nov. 16 to life in prison without parole.
Gomez denied the charges at trial and argued through his lawyers that, without a body, there was no proof that Rosas was ever kidnapped and murdered. But after his conviction, Gomez led deputies on a search for the body, which turned up the shallow grave that yielded her remains.
Los Lobos, formed in 1973, are best known for their hit version of the Ritchie Valens song "La Bamba."
Reuters contributed to this report.