When Utah tech entrepreneur and “force for good” Erin Valenti went missing in San Jose Monday, friends and family hoped for the best, but yesterday their worst fears came true: A body inside the back of a parked vehicle near San Jose’s Bose Lane was identified as hers.

Earlier Saturday, San Jose police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said, via an email to DesertNews, that police were conducting a "death investigation,” shortly after a body was found near that aforementioned South Bay location.

Later, sadly, friends of Valenti confirmed that the body found inside that car was, in fact, hers.

The 34-year-old was last spotted in a rented gray Nissan Murano, so it’s alleged that Valenti’s body was discovered inside that California-registered vehicle. Concerns about her safety were spurred earlier in the week when she, according to KRON 4, missed the Utah Woman Tech Council awards, where she was a chosen finalist, and also failed to both make her flight back home and return her rental car.

Following the heartbreaking and earth-shattering news, Valenti’s family released a public statement Saturday evening:

Erin has been found. Please call off the search. We all greatly appreciate the effort and support people have provided. The family will release more information as they are able to.

The 34-year-old was the CEO of Utah-based Tinker Ventures, which develops web and smartphone applications, and was beloved by her community.

“Erin was such a force for good,” said Silicon Slopes/Utah Tech Council Executive Director Clint Bett in a statement. “It’s hard to imagine the Silicon Slopes community without her in it. Our hearts go out to her husband and family during this unimaginable time. We are devastated.”

The Santa Clara Coroner's Office has yet to release a cause of death, though more details about Valenti's passing are expected to come forward as the case unfolds.

Image: Wikimedia Commons