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As remains are recovered, victim's grandmother says, 'How could anyone be so cruel?'

November 4, 2010 | 12:01 pm

Over the years, Patricia Ekelund grew accustomed to scanning crowds for her granddaughter.

Lynsie Ekelund, then 20 and living with her mother in Placentia, disappeared in 2001. Authorities launched a massive search for the Fullerton College student, but she wasn't found.

"You're always thinking about it," her grandmother said.

Last week, Christopher McAmis, 31, was charged with Ekelund’s murder, said a spokeswoman with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. McAmis told authorities that Ekelund's remains were at a construction site where he worked at the time, she said.

On Wednesday, workers began digging up what were believed to be Lynsie Ekelund's remains at a site off Bouquet Canyon Road in Santa Clarita.

Authorities say that on the morning of Feb. 17, 2001, McAmis attempted to rape Ekelund at his apartment in Whittier and then killed her and disposed of the body. McAmis had driven Ekelund and two other friends to a San Diego nightclub that evening.

"How could anyone be so cruel?" Patricia Ekelund said. "She was just a nice, little, lovely girl."

"This has been a terrible thing for all of us," she said. "At least we know she's not going to be harmed anymore."

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Related: After nearly 10 years, suspect confesses to killing Fullerton College student Lynsie Ekelund, officials say