Police: Body found in Auburn could be missing woman

Update, 10:45 pm:

Wednesday night, an Auburn police officer dusted Katie Socci's front door for fingerprints. Investigators were using every tool they had to figure out the final moments before the 29-year-old mother disappeared from her Auburn home.

All day search crews combed rural areas of the city for clues. This afternoon, they found a mound of "freshly turned dirt" and a woman's body. Police believe it is Socci, but are awaiting final verification from the medical examiners office, along with a cause of death.

The body was found near a walking trail off of Dunning Avenue. That road remained closed for hours as police continued to search for evidence and process the scene. Overhead, air one circled taking pictures.

" We have to be very thorough, meticulous, and not leave anything unturned ," said Lt. Shawn Butler.

Auburn Police have not declared this a homicide. Instead, they are calling it a death investigation. Officers are questioning a suspect, who they say did know Socci. The Cayuga County District Attorney tells CNY Central they are holding that man in custody, on a probation violation.

The DA says the prime suspect in Socci's disappearance admits to being at her house on Tuesday. Witnesses also tell police they saw his car there.

In a media briefing Tuesday afternoon, Police credit ed the community for it 's help and coming together quickly. "The family is a very well known family in the city," said Auburn Police Chief Gary Giannotta. "Katie has a lot of friends and they all mobilized, they all helped with this. Handing out pamphlets, getting word from person to pseron. They did a tremendous job of getting the information out."

It was neighbors that first alerted police something was wrong after Socci's dog wouldn't stop barking. When officers arrived at her home, they found Socci's door unlocked and her 18-month-daughter Sydney inside alone. We're told the young girl is now being cared for by family members.

Scroll down below for more information on this case. And stay with the networks of CNY Central, and for the latest on this on-going investigation.

Update, 7:30pm:

Prosecutors say Katie Socci, 29, knew the person who is the prime suspect in her disappearance.

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelman said, "the prime suspect is known to the deceased and is in custody on an unrelated matter." Budelman is not disclosing the identity of the person in custody. He did say he is in custody on a violation of probation after being found in a bar.

The District Attorney did not know for what crime the man previously spent time in jail.

Investigators have had only one suspect in mind since Katie Socci was reported missing last night. Authorities say witnesses saw the man's vehicle in key areas over the last 24 hours, including Socci's home.

Prosecutors say the suspect has made admissions to being at Socci's home late Tuesday. He has not admitted to having any contact with the nurse who worked at Upstate Hospital in Syracuse.

The Onondaga County Medical Examiner's office continues to process the area where the body of a woman was found in a freshly dug grave this afternoon. Police believe that is Socci's body but are awaiting final determination from the medical examiners office, along with a cause of death.

Prosecutors do not expect to charge the man with any crime related to the disappearance of Socci tonight. They will likely wait for preliminary autopsy results and other forensics from the scene.

Original story:

Auburn Police say they've found the body of a white female under a pile of freshly turned dirt. The body was found near a nature trail not far from Dunning Avenue.

Right now, police say they think it's the body of Katie Socci, but they have not been able to make an identification yet. Police are not commenting on a person they are questioning, but they are not calling this a homicide investigation. No arrests have been made. Click here for previous coverage of Katie Socci.

Police were looking in that area where the body was found because it's a rural area, and there's a walking trail off of Dunning Ave just inside the city limits. A member of the Highland Rescue Search Team saw the body when they were walking through.

Dunning Avenue is still closed off while police continue their investigation. We don't know when it will re-open.

Stay with for more on this developing story.