The fathers of two Swedish girls who disappeared while...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The fathers of two Swedish girls who disappeared while hitchhiking through California tentatively identified two badly decomposed bodies and then flew home Sunday.

Authorities said positive identification would not be made until dental records arrived from Sweden, possibly by Wednesday.


The bodies were found in the Los Padres National Forest.

In the meantime, homicide investigators checked reports from six witnesses who said they saw someone with the missing girls, Marie Lilienberg, 23, and Maria Wahlen, 25, just before they disappeared July 22.

Ove Lilienberg and Lars Wahlen came to California Aug. 5 to search for their daughters. They identified jewelry on the bodies found last week, but could not positively identify the decomposed remains.

They left Santa Barbara Saturday, 'tired, depressed and upset' according to a sheriff's spokesman, and caught a flight home from New York on Sunday.

Among clues being studied by investigators were film, photographs and a diary kept by Miss Wahlen, with the last entry made on July 21. The articles, turned over to authorities by an unidentified citizen, were found behind a business near a freeway in the Los Angeles area.

The FBI was asked to identify, using fingerprints, an arm found in the rugged, wooded area near where the women's bodies were found Thursday.


Authorities said private pathologists would have to determine how the women died because of the state of decomposition. A county coroner's autopsy was inconclusive.

The Swedish women disappeared while hitchhiking somewhere between Redwood City, in Northern California, and Los Angeles. One of the bodies was discovered by hunters in a ditch about 40 feet from a coastal highway. The second body was found beneath nearby brush.

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