Authorities found a body while they were searching for Kristen Marti in Prefumo Canyon on Sunday, but it's not clear if the body was Marti or someone else, the San Luis Obispo Police Department said.
A search-and-rescue team found an apparently female body in the creek near the road in Prefumo Canyon, police said, and the Sheriff's Office Dive Team and coroner's investigators were called to the scene to help recover the body.
An autopsy will be performed to identify the body and determine the cause of death, according to a news release.
"Based on the circumstances surrounding this investigation, it is being investigated as a homicide at this time," the release said.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department, along with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team, K-9 search teams and other agencies were involved in Sunday's search for Marti, who has been missing since January.
Marti was reported missing Jan. 18 after she failed to make contact with family or friends, police said. Authorities said she was last seen Jan. 9, sitting with an adult man in a parked, maroon-colored sedan in the 1800 block of Prefumo Canyon Road.
According to a Facebook profile in her name, from which SLOPD retrieved photos of Marti to distribute, she went to Morro Bay High School and lived in San Luis Obispo.
Detectives have identified a person of interest in the case: a man believed to be the last person seen with Marti before she disappeared, police said.
Officials said they are not currently releasing his identity due to the ongoing investigation.