Authorities on Saturday confirmed the body found in the trunk of a missing Realtor’s car in San Diego late last week was that of Julia “Deede” Buchanan Keller, the Los Angeles Realtor who’d been missing for more than a week.

Police found Keller’s 1999 Mercedes Benz E320 Thursday evening about 120 miles south of El Segundo where she was last seen. Authorities on Saturday said it was unclear how she died and detectives continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

Investigators last week questioned Keller’s ex-husband.

Keller was an agent at Shorewood Realtors in Manhattan Beach, one of the trendiest and most expensive communities in L.A.’s popular South Bay. Rick Plank, Keller’s office manager, said she had been representing clients in the area for more than a dozen years.

Keller, 55, was last seen on July 8, being dropped off outside her home around 11:30 p.m. No one was worried when Keller didn’t come into the office the following Friday or Saturday, Shorewood’s Plank said, because those are two of the days when the agent is typically busy showing properties and meeting with clients. But Keller’s son, Michael, told investigators that he became worried after learning his mother had uncharacteristically missed some weekend appointments.

Dozens of real estate agents fanned out across a large portion of Los Angeles County Wednesday afternoon, passing out flyers and looking for leads in Keller’s mysterious disappearance. Shorewood Realtors and its escrow subsidiary offered a $50,000 reward for information that would help find the missing agent. Plank said that salespeople from Keller’s office, and even many agents from competing offices, had written checks to make the reward fund even larger.


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