(CBS/AP) DOVER, N.H. - Authorities in Maine and Massachusetts are being asked to watch their shores for the body of 19-year-old Elizabeth Marriott, a University of New Hampshire believed to have been killed a week ago.
Marriott was last heard from Oct. 9 when she made plans to visit friends in Dover after class, but she never showed up. Seth Mazzaglia, 29, was charged Saturday with second-degree murder and is accused of strangling or suffocating her in his apartment that night. Her body hasn't been found, but authorities have been searching the waters around Peirce Island in nearby Portsmouth.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Monday that "credible information" has led authorities to focus their efforts on the 27-acre island that separates the city from the Piscataqua River. Young said Marine patrol officials have been using sonar and an underwater camera, but the river's currents and eddies have hampered their efforts.
"The search in that area may last several more days," she said. "We have not discussed an end date. We have discussed continuing this until we find her."
Authorities in Maine and Massachusetts have also been notified in case her body washes up there, Young said.
Marriott was living with an aunt in Chester, N.H., and commuting to the university in Durham, where she was majoring in marine biology. Authorities said her car was found several miles away in a parking lot on campus in Durham after her disappearance.
Mazzaglia, an actor and martial arts instructor, didn't speak during a brief arraignment Monday. He is currently held without bail. Police have not said what led them to arrest Mazzaglia or how he knew Marriott.
"They were familiar with each other," Young said
Friends and family have described Marriott as a fun-loving, trusting young woman with a wide circle of friends who was active in chorus and a prom queen in high school. She loved animals, volunteered at the New England Aquarium and helped put herself through school by working at Target.
Ken Ziniti, a store manager at the Target store in Greenland, said Marriott was one of the nicest young people he's met.
"Put a smile on everybody's faces," he said. "She worked all over the sales floor, always out in front of the guests."