12/23/2013 08:50 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Mireya Mata-Alvarez, 15, Found Dead Near Iowa Shopping Center

Iowa police are investigating the mysterious death of a Missouri girl whose body was found in the backseat of a car parked at a busy shopping center.

Friends say Mireya Mata-Alvarez, 15, was in Council Bluffs visiting for the weekend and had been out partying with a group of seven peers Friday night.

Police officers were called to the scene just after 10 a.m., Saturday. They found the girl's body in the backseat of a car parked near a J.C. Penney. Two female friends had called 911 and were present when emergency crews arrived.

"After speaking with some people, it sounds like the girl, two of her female juvenile friends, and then five juvenile [male] friends, were driving around partying," Council Bluffs police Sgt. Chad Meyers told KMTV. "We believe there was drinking and probably the use of marijuana involved."

Police are waiting for an autopsy and toxicology results to determine Mata-Alvarez's cause of death. They do not suspect foul play.

According to the Daily Nonpareil, Mata-Alvarez was a sophomore at Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs until recently, when attendance issues forced her to drop out of school. She recently moved to Missouri.

“She was a quiet, beautiful young lady,” said Julie McComas, a counselor at Lewis Central who worked with Mata-Alvarez.

Co-worker Diana Montelongo told KELO that Mata-Alvarez was an outgoing girl who did not seem to party often.



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