Julia Jacobson, 37, told friends in September she and her dog, Boogie, were headed to Big Bear Lake. They never made it, reported The Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Jacobson's credit cards were used at an Ontario, California, gas station and friends received a text saying she had stopped in Palm Springs, the publication reported.
Five days later, San Diego police found her car abandoned a half-mile from her home with the keys in the ignition, the Press-Enterprise reported. Jacobson, a corporate real estate broker for 7-Eleven who had twice been deployed to Iraq in the U.S. Army, had vanished.
On Monday, Jacobson's ex-husband, Dalen Larry Ware, 40, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death, reported KNSD. He faces 15 years to life in prison.
Ontario police arrested Ware on suspicion of murder in October after he was detained on a warrant in Arizona, police reported in a statement.
Acting on information provided by Ware, a police dog in December discovered the remains of Jacobson and her dog in a shallow grave in the desert near Cactus City in San Bernardino County, according to a police statement.
"It is a huge relief for the whole family that we won't have to relive the tragic events by going through a trial," Jacobson's family wrote on a Facebook page devoted to the case. "This guilty plea will help enable us to move forward with putting our lives back together, as much as we can after they were turned upside down last September."
The family encouraged people who knew Jacobson attend Ware's sentencing Oct. 15, where her friends and family will provide victim impact statements.
This article is written by Don Sweeney from The Sacramento Bee and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.