Late Monday night, the Los Angeles coroner's office announced it has determined the human remains discovered last week in a shallow grave are those of Sandra Rosas--the wife of Los Lobos singer-guitarist Cesar Rosas who disappeared a little over a year ago.
The identification, based on dental records, comes just 10 days after her half-brother, Gabriel Gomez, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her kidnapping and murder.
Rosas vanished from her suburban Los Angeles home in October 1999. Gomez was fingered by family members who overheard a heated, death threat-filled conversation between him and Sandra Rosas the night she disappeared.
He was convicted October 31 of the crime, even though Sandra Rosas' body had yet to be found.
During his November 16 sentencing, the judge implored Gomez to come clean and tell the grieving family where he dumped the body.
"If there is any decency in you," the judge said, "one day, perhaps, one day not too far away, you will [reveal the burial site]."
Gomez, 40, initially denied killing her, but after his sentencing, he told a reporter for the local San Gabriel Tribune that he got drunk, went to his sister's home and got into an argument with her. He said he strangled her, panicked and buried the body.
Gomez offered to lead reporters and police to the grave, taking them to a park not far from Rosas' home. Authorities found nothing and Gomez admitted he led them--in the words of one sheriff's deputy--"on a wild-goose chase" to exact some sort of revenge on his persecutors.
He eventually pointed them to a makeshift grave in Santa Clarita, California, a 40-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, where they recovered the deteriorated body last week.
While Cesar Rosas had no immediate comment on the identification of his wife's remains, he did speak to reporters after Gomez was convicted of the murder.
"This helped us out a little bit," he said. "We want to move on."