Law student found dismembered on the coast allegedly murdered by her fiancé

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

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.

His head, feet and hands had been removed and have not yet been located, KTVU reported.

The body of the 27-year-old, whose identity was confirmed by a DNA test on August 30, was found between a trail and water by a hiker, KRON reported.

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

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

Rachel Elizabeth Imani Bucker, 27, was identified as the woman found off the California coast in July. via KTVU
Rachel Elizabeth Imani BuckerBruckner was on track to graduate from law school in a matter of months, his family said. via KTVU

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, bright, [and] kind,” with “an incredibly bright future.”

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

BridgeA hiker found Bruckner’s body near the Bay Farm Island bridge on July 20. KTVU
John RobertsJohn Roberts, 42, with whom Bruckner lived in Pleasanton, has been charged with the murder. via KTVU

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“His death has left an indescribable void in his community and his town,” his family said.

A search warrant for Roberts’ phone records revealed that he last contacted 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.

BucknerBuckner’s remains were found wrapped in plastic and duct tape, police said. via KTVU

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

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

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

MallBuckner’s dismembered remains were found along the California coast in Alameda. KTVU

Additional forensic evidence discovered at his home indicated that Bruckner was murdered inside the apartment.

Roberts was booked into Santa Rita Jail for first-degree murder and is being held without bail.

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

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