Missing since October, a Massachusetts pregnant teenager presumably found dead in Florida

The body of a pregnant Massachusetts woman was last found in Florida in October, authorities said this week.

Florida law enforcement officials found the body of 18-year-old Jalajhia Finklea from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on Interstate 95 in Fellsmere around noon Wednesday.

Positive identification is yet to come, the Bristol County District Office in Massachusetts said. An autopsy is performed to determine the cause of death that is presumed to be homicide.

Finkle was last seen on October 20 in a vehicle driven by Luis Zaragoza in New Bedford. He rented the car from Boston’s Logan International Airport, authorities said.

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Jalajhia Finklea

Jalajhia Finklea
(Tribe of Mashpee Wampanoag)

According to the district prosecutor’s office, Finklea last called Zaragoza on her mobile phone. Authorities and Zaragoza’s cell phones turned off minutes after he entered the vehicle.

Investigators found Finklea’s phone on Route 140 in New Bedford, 5 miles from where she got in the car with Zaragoza.

“As a result of these efforts, police determined that the suspect had left the state and traveled south along the east coast to Florida,” the district attorney said.

In the surveillance footage, Zaragoza, who also appeared as Luis Barboza, was seen at several locations in two locations. None of the recordings recorded Finkle. Massachusetts authorities then approached the U.S. Marshals Service to help locate the pregnant teenager.


The Marshals found Zaragoza in Florida on November 4 and began to pay attention. The next day, the task force tried to arrest him in one of Crestview’s McDonald’s parking lots. Armed Zaragoza was shot and killed when authorities tried to detain him.

The investigation into the shooting is being conducted by the Florida Department of Police.