ZELLWOOD, Fla. -- Police made an arrest Thursday after a woman with ties to Central Florida was found dead in South Carolina.
Myranda Southern, 31, was last seen in South Carolina a week and a half ago.
Southern's body was found in a Lauren's County, South Carolina field Aug. 23, but it was not until Thursday that authorities were able to confirm it was hers.
"I think one of the things that's so unbearable about this is her body was found in a field like trash, whoever killed her left her for trash," said friend Meredith Tweed.
Officials in South Carolina said Darrell Ervin Raines Jr., 33, was arrested without incident and charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Investigators said they believe Raines and Southern had been communicating online before meeting in person about one week before she disappeared.
Southern was a mother of two and attended Lake Mary High School. She vanished Aug. 19, and it was believed she was on her way to Florida to get her kids.
The children, ages 8 and 10, are with their grandmother in Zellwood.
"We are deeply saddened by the murder of Myranda Southern. The family is utterly heartbroken and devastated by this tragic act of violence. Myranda's children are safe with their grandmother in Florida, and we are working to keep them together in this time of intense grief," said an email from the family's attorney.
The statement goes on to say what a wonderful mother she was and thanks all who helped with letters, phone calls and fliers as the work continued to find her.