COQUILLE, Ore. The former boyfriend of a 15-year-old girl found dead near her home in Coquille back in 2000 has been convicted of manslaughter.

The jury found Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder.

Leah Freeman vanished from her home in June of 2000. At first, her case was treated as a runaway investigation. But on August 3rd, her body was found in a secluded forested area about nine miles from her house.

Now 29, McGuffin was 18 at the time of Freeman's death and the two had been dating.

During the trial, attorneys suggested that the defendant caught up with Freeman after she left a friend's house and tried to break up with him. Then, they said McGuffin strangled Freeman and hid her body.

After the verdict was read Tuesday, Freeman's mother, Cory Courtright, thanked local law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys.

Leah didn't deserve her fate. And, as her mother, I don't know, maybe I've pressed a little hard at times, but I did what I thought I had to do - for her, Courtright said.