NORMAN, Okla. (CBS) Aja Johnson's family received the news they have been fearing since the 7-year-old disappeared with her stepfather Lester Hobbs - Oklahoma police say they have found two badly decomposed bodies they believe to be Aja and Hobbs.
The bodies were found Monday after police in Norman, Okla., about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City, received a 911 call from an anonymous source reporting an abandoned vehicle in some woods about 15 miles outside of Norman.
"We have no reason to believe it's not those two people," said Jessica Brown, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
"We wish it would have turned out differently," Brown said.
Hobbs and the child had been missing since Aja's mother, Tonya Hobbs, was found dead Jan. 24 inside Lester Hobbs' motor home in Geronimo, about 100 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.
Aja's father, J.J. Johnson, told CBS affiliate KOTV that he was overwhelmed with grief at the news but also expressed relief and admitted for the first time he lost hope long ago.
"As a parent, love for your child always burns," J.J. Johnson said. "I had a funny feeling something like this would happen. That gutless person he is, he would do something like this."
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office will use fingerprints to positively identify Hobbs and dental records may have to be used to identify the girl, according to Brown. She also characterized papers found inside the vehicle as a possible suicide note, and said no weapon had been found and officials hadn't immediately determined a cause of death.
"It is closure to me because now I know she is going to be in a better place," J.J. Johnson told KOTV. "And those thoughts in my head of what he was doing to her, the torturing he [was] doing, you know, I don't have to think of that anymore."