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Law student found dismembered on shoreline allegedly killed by fiancé

A young Bay Area law student has been identified as the dismembered body that washed up on the California shoreline earlier this summer — and authorities believe that she was brutally butchered by her fiancé, who has been charged with her killing.

The remains of Rachel Elizabeth Imani Bucker, 27, were found dismembered and wrapped in plastic and duct tape along the shoreline near the Bay Farm Island Bridge on July 20, Alameda police said.

Her head, feet and hands had all been removed — and have not yet been located, KTVU reported.

The body of the 27-year-old, whose identity was confirmed through an Aug. 30 DNA test, was found between a walking path and the water by a hiker, KRON reported.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged the woman’s fiancé, 42-year-old Joseph C. Roberts, with her murder.

Roberts’ DNA was found on the duct tape used to encase her body, authorities said.

According to charging documents, Roberts lived with Buckner in Pleasanton and referred to her as his fiancée.

Bruckner’s family described her in a written statement to KTVU as “beautiful, brilliant, [and] kind,” with “an incredibly bright future.”

Bruckner, a Howard University graduate, was both an accomplished student and a basketball player. She was set to graduate from Golden Gate University School of Law this year, her family said.

“Her death has left a void that is indescribable in her community and village,” her family said.

A search warrant for Roberts’ phone records revealed he last communicated with Buckner on July 13, a week before her body was discovered.

Since his last known communication with the victim, he had been in contact with at least three other women, investigators said.

He also still had the victim’s phone and car, which he would still use, long after her death, Detective Robert Hansen said.

Since his last known communication with the victim, he had been in contact with at least three other women, investigators said.

“Joseph [Roberts] never reported the victim missing at any point during this investigation. Joseph’s DNA was on the tape that wrapped her body, which meant he was aware she was dead, he was aware she was dismembered, and he took an active role in wrapping her body, concealing it in plastic garbage bags,” wrote Hansen.

Roberts was apprehended at the apartment he shared with Bruckner on Wednesday.

Additional forensic evidence discovered in their home indicated Bruckner was killed inside the apartment.

Roberts was booked into Santa Rita Jail for first-degree murder and is being held with no bail.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday morning for an arraignment.

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