SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The family and friends of missing Utah tech CEO confirmed Saturday that her body was found inside a car in a south San Jose neighborhood.
A police source told KPIX5 that it was a family friend who discovered Erin Valenti’s rental car and body before police were called to the scene.
“Many of you have seen that the search for Erin has been called off. While we were praying for a different outcome, we are so appreciative for the help and support you have given,” someone wrote on a page called “Help Find Erin Valenti” around 9:30 p.m., Saturday night.
The car was parked in the 6500 block of Bose Lane, in far south San Jose.
According to police, it was from that area, near the Almaden Library and Community Center, where the last phone call from Valenti was made.
Valenti’s mother and husband had been searching for Valenti, who is the CEO of Utah-based tech company Tinker Ventures, after she disappeared on Monday.
They said in a Facebook post that they last talked to her Monday night and she sounded “confusing and disjointed” as she drove through San Jose instead of the airport to head back home to Utah.
Her husband, Harrison Weinstein, also said in a post that her disappearance was “extremely out of character.”
Friends of the 33-year-old knew something was wrong when she didn’t show up for the Annual Women in Tech Awards in Salt Lake where she was a finalist and announced the winner on Wednesday.
“We’ve lost one of our own I think is what feels so strange about this,” Emily Smith told KSL-TV. “I mean people like her don’t come around very often.”
Valenti was in Silicon Valley for business, according to her family.
But why she ended up in the Almaden neighborhood Lane is still unknown.
“I’m very shocked, I feel so sorry for the family,” said Carl MacDonald who lives in the neighborhood. “I saw the car there, but…never dawned on me somebody was in there.”
Her friends and family, who remained on scene for a few hours and were emotionally distraught, asked for privacy and did not want to be interviewed.
“What a shock, what a shock, but I’m glad that they found her because they’d been looking for her for three days,” MacDonald said.
Crime scene investigators arrived on scene late Saturday night.
The cause of death is still unknown.