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FBI identifies body as that of missing Santa Fe teen 4-6-07

SANTA FE, New Mexico (AP) - The FBI has identified a body found as that of a Santa Fe Indian School student reported missing Feb. 8.
The state Office of the Medical Investigator used dental records to identify Amber Dawn Martinez, 17, of Taos Pueblo, said Bill Elwell, an FBI spokesman in Albuquerque. He said April 5th that investigators don't yet know what caused her death, but that it is classified as suspicious and the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have not ruled out foul play.

The remains were decomposed and scattered over a large area by animals, indicating the body had been outside a long time, he said.

Martinez joined SFIS's cross country team last year as a junior and worked hard to earn a varsity spot, said John Grimley, head cross country coach and interim athletic director for the school.

She helped the Lady Braves finish fifth at the Class AAA state championship in November, tying for 51st overall.

``She came up to me after the season was done and thanked me for giving her that opportunity,'' Grimley said. ``But like I told her, she earned it. It wasn't like a gift we gave her. She was the gift; her athletic ability was the gift.''

Students at the school knew remains had been discovered, he said.

``There were some girls who were frightened and scared about if that really was Amber or not, as were all of us that have heard the rumors,'' he said. ``You hope and pray it wasn't her, and you feel sorry for whoever it was. Now that I guess it's confirmed for sure ... it does start to sink in.''
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