Zhang, a graduate student at Berkeley, had last been seen 1:30am on January 7. She had a flight to China for an internship interview scheduled on January 8, which she failed to board. On January 9, Zhang’s vehicle was discovered near the Point Reyes Lighthouse while searchers said her belongings were found on a cliff above the ocean, reports CBS SF.
The 22-year-old was also noted by officials as being in a despondent mood at the time after failing a class during the 2015 Fall semester.
On April 20, hikers at the National Seashore found skeletal remains that they thought may be human at the base of a cliff near where Zhang’s vehicle was located months earlier.
Coroner officials retrieved two sets of bones back to the lab for testing: a connected section of the mid and lower spine and sacrum, and the end of a femur, Chief Deputy Coroner Darrell Harris told the Bay City News.
Using DNA samples from Zhang’s family members, a DNA comparison test with the remains returned positive on July 13, said Harris.
Berkeley police have still not determined a cause for Zhang’s death, though they don’t believe foul play was a factor.