JERSEY VILLAGE, Texas -- The unidentified teenager allegedly killed by two gang members in a satanic ritual has been positively identified as Genesis Cornejo-Alvarado, the medical examiner confirms.
Cornejo has been missing since last month, and her mother was keeping candles lit in her absence in the hope of her safe return, but this week brought heartbreak.
Cornejo's mother confirmed to ABC13 that police told her last week her daughter had been killed.
The Cornejo family previously lived in the New York area and just recently moved to the Houston area. ABC13 spoke with a family friend in Long Island, Melissa Tagarelli, who called Cornejo's mother as soon as she heard the news.
"I knew it was true, but I had to just hear it from her. I just expressed my sympathy," Tagarelli said.
Cornejo, 15, was reported missing by her family. Jersey Village police officers searched apartment complexes in west Houston looking for her but believed she was "actively hiding from them," according to Foerster.
Two weeks ago, police said Conejo's body was found on the side of the road on Sharpcrest near Corporate. Police said she had been shot twice at close range.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences released a photograph of three rings she was wearing and a clothing description that included white high-top Converse tennis shoes. Cornejo was also wearing white high-top Converse tennis shoes when she went missing.
RELATED: Alleged gang members accused in 'satanic' murder
Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, are charged with her murder. During their first court appearance, they smiled and waved at the cameras. Later Thursday morning, at a second court appearance, they were more composed.
RELATED: Gang linked to satanic murder is "extremely violent"
According to court records, a 14-year-old girl says she was kidnapped by the two, held against her will in an apartment in S. Gessner near Westheimer and sexually assaulted. She told police Alvarez-Flores, nicknamed "Diabolical," was the leader. Her captors were MS-13 gang members and they worshiped Satan. The teen also told investigators they called Satan the "Beast" and another girl named "Genesis" was also at the apartment. When "Genesis" criticized a shrine dedicated to their satanic beliefs, she said, "Genesis" disappeared.
The 14-year-old was able to lead police to Alvarez-Flores and Hernandez-Rivera. A prosecutor says Hernandez-Rivera admitted to shooting "Genesis."
Girl killed in satanic ritual is missing Texas teen, authorities say