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Body identified as missing girl, 15

January 02, 1997

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A body found near a farm supply store has been identified as that of a girl missing for three months, police said.

Stacy Hoffmaster of Frederick was 15 when she disappeared a month before her 16th birthday on Oct. 1. She was a student at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, who had been reported missing by her mother, Vickie Hoffmaster, Frederick police Sgt. Jeffrey Hutchison said.

``The medical examiner's office, after a thorough examination, has positively identified the body as that of Stacy Hoffmaster,'' said Lt. Thomas Chase, head of the criminal investigation division of Frederick City Police.

The student's partially decomposed body was found by two men looking for cans the morning of Dec. 23 under a tarp in a wooded area behind the Southern States building.

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The man who found the body said the young woman was nude and bound at the legs with rope. The area where the body was found is frequented by homeless people, police said.

The cause of death was not released.

``At this point, there is no proof of a sexual assault," Hutchison said.

. The evidence we have collected is at the police station and will be studied more to determine what happened,'' Hutchison said.

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