HOUSTON A body found in Montgomery County Sunday has been positively identified as 20-year-old Amber Elkins, who had been missing for a week.
The cause of death was homicide, according to theMontgomery County medical examiner.
James Clarke Jr., the man charged withkilling the young mother from the Humble area, made his first court appearance Monday morning.
The judge set Clarke's bondat $250,000.
Prosecutors believe Clarke killed Elkins last week, then dumped her body in the woods.
Volunteers with Equusearch found thebody late Sunday afternoon near FM 1314 at Gene Campbell Blvd.
We just had some ideas on some cell towers, explained Tim Miller, the director of Texas Equusearch. Miller said he mapped out areas three to five miles around those towers to search. They came across the body in one of those areas.
This has been the hardest week of my life, Michael Elkins, the victim s father said at a candlelight vigil Sunday evening. She s found. We are going to lay her to rest.
Some family and friends described Clarke as Elkins relatively new boyfriend, but her sister Ashley adamantly denies that claim, saying he was only someone her sister was trying to help.
She just wore her heart on her sleeve, she s like the rest of us, Ashley said. I mean, if we ve got dollars in our pocket and you need it, we ll give it to you.
Investigators said Clarke gave them no leads to find Elkins, but they feel they had enough physical evidence to point the finger at him. He was booked into the Harris County Jail around 10 a.m. Saturday.
Clarke has a long criminal history that includes assault and robbery.
He was sentenced to two years in prison for a robbery, in which he punched the victim in the face until the victim blacked out, records show.
Clarke was also sentenced to 90 days in jail for an assault in which he was accused of striking a motor vehicle with his hand, causing the glass shards to cut (the victim).
Elkins was the mother of a 9-month-old daughter named Ava Nicole. The baby is with her father, according to Elkins mother.
Elkins family said the hardest part is knowing that Ava Nicole will grow up without her mother.