A body found Sunday behind a grocery store in northwest Las Vegas has been identified as a missing school teacher.
The Clark County coroner's office said Wednesday that Marybeth Franta, 49, died from asphyxiation and ruled the death a homicide.
Franta went missing about 7 p.m. Saturday after driving from her home near Torrey Pines Drive and Flamingo Road. Her body was discovered about 8:20 a.m. Sunday behind the Albertson's store at Craig Road and Tenaya Way.
She was reported missing about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Franta was a science teacher at Molasky Junior High School. She had been a teacher in the Clark County School District since 1993.
"This is very devastating," said Charlene Peterson, a friend of Franta through the Nevada State Horsemen's Association. "Hundreds of people are upset today."
Franta, who rode a chestnut-colored horse named Gabriel, was a former director with the Horsemen's Association. Franta also was an announcer at state horse shows.
"She had a passion for horses and animals," Peterson said. "She was warm, engaging, always ready to help. She loved her children."
Franta had two older children, Peterson said.