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Body found at landfill identified as 23-year-old woman

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A body was identified Thursday following the New Year’s Eve discovery at a Waste Management landfill in unincorporated Alameda County east of Livermore, sheriff’s officials said.

The body of 23-year-old Karina Banta of Hayward was found Monday afternoon at the landfill at 10480 Altamont Pass Road.

Sheriff’s officials first considered the death suspicious, and still do. The cause of her death is now listed as undetermined pending a toxicology report.

An autopsy conducted Thursday morning did not show any traumatic injuries that would suggest someone killed her.

Sheriff’s officials said Banta had a history of challenges surrounding mental health, substance abuse and homelessness.

According to sheriff’s officials, she had not been in touch with her family since November and deputies do not know where she was or who she was with shortly before she died.

Sheriff’s officials are asking for help with that information. They believe Banta spent most of her time in the Hayward area, but may have spent significant time in other cities in and near western and central Alameda County.

They are hoping with help they can determine when Banta was last seen alive and where exactly she died. Her family is hoping for that information too.

Anyone who can help is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (510) 667-7721. Someone is there 24 hours a day and callers can remain anonymous.

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