ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. - The search for a Richmond teenager took a tragic turn Monday.
The body of 18-year-old Mariah Davis was found near Lake Chabot Dam, and the man arrested for her killing is her former boyfriend, Anthony Pimentel, 19, of San Leandro.
"I know I'm never going to see my daughter again, my only daughter, I'm never going to see her again," said the victim's mother, Alfreda James, speaking to KTVU Monday evening. "I just don't know why he killed her and left her out in a field. Why would someone do that?"
Pimentel, accompanied by his father, turned himself in to San Leandro police before dawn Monday, and told authorities where to look.
Davis' body was found on fenced property owned by East Bay Municipal Utility District between San Leandro and Chabot Park.
Investigators have not indicated how she was killed, or when, but Mariah's family believes she died Sept. 26.
That day, they became concerned when she stopped responding to calls or texts.
Relatives first checked the In-N-Out Burger in Pinole where Mariah worked.
"We went there, and couldn't find her, just drove around looking for her," said James.
Davis' loved ones became even more alarmed when her car turned up in San Leandro, the keys inside, she was nowhere to be found.
"At that point I was very worried, where's my daughter, where is she?" her mother asked.
Then the family learned Mariah had lunch that day with her former boyfriend.
Restaurant cameras at La Pinata in San Leandro recorded them leaving together.
They had dated for two years, while attending San Leandro High School, but broke up seven months ago.
James described Pimentel as violent.
"He hit her, he put her out on the freeway to walk off the freeway," James recalled, "and that's the type of guy he was. I tried to warn my daughter."
During five frantic days, Mariah's family mobilized to search for her, and urged police to treat her disappearance seriously.
"I understand that she is 18, and she is an adult, " said Aunt Phyllis James, " but we were telling them the circumstances are not right, they're not right, listen to what we're telling you."
Friends and relatives made missing flyers and posted them around the East Bay.
On Friday, Mariah's mother called Pimentel in desperation.
"And you know he said to me that he did not know where my daughter was....he is a monster." recalled James.
Davis' aunt and cousin confronted Pimentel in person the next day.
"He said to my face he had not seen her and he was so concerned about her," described Phyllis James.
Pimentel told the women he last saw Davis after their meal, when she dropped him off at Bayfair Mall.
"But he kept fidgeting, he was nervous," said cousin Jacari Scott, "his arms were crossed, he was in defense mode."
Davis' family wonders, if she might have been found more swiftly, maybe while still alive, if Pimentel had been taken seriously as a suspect.
"I hope she didn't suffer, " said her mother, "because I don't know what he did to her, but I hope she didn't suffer."
She describes her daughter as the sweetest girl, with a bubbly laugh and a smile for everyone, but perhaps too trusting, maybe a bit naive.
"Young girls need to watch the signs," declared James, "and if these guys hit you one time, they're going to hit you again."
James hopes her daughter's tragedy holds lessons for others about taking domestic violence seriously in relationships.
"When they have tempers, you need to not be with them," said James firmly, "because they can hurt you."
Davis had not mentioned specific threats from Pimentel, but she had assured her family she would not get back together with him, and said she was blocking his calls.
Pimentel is being held at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, with no bail, and a Wednesday court appearance.
Davis would have turned 19 on Oct. 31.