Authorities in Selma and Fresno County said Tuesday that the corpse of Jolissa Fuentes was discovered in rural Fresno County after a search lasting more than two months.
On Tuesday, Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz provided an update, saying that Fuentes’ body had been discovered off a cliff near Trimmer Springs and Maxon roads, northeast of Pine Flat Lake.
The 22-year-old was last seen at 4 a.m. on August 7 at an ampm gas station on Nebraska Avenue in Selma, according to authorities.
A vehicle matching her description was captured on surveillance leaving the scene.
On Tuesday, Alcaraz stated that investigators who had access to her smartphone reported they saw virtually no activity following the night she vanished. He explained that it was assumed that weariness played a role in the crash, which took place late at night.
The community’s efforts to get Miss Fuentes back to her family were “quite outstanding,” he stated at a press conference where he was joined by Fuentes’s relatives.
Alcaraz claimed that he drove into the area where the search had begun to focus on Monday, some 60 kilometers from where Fuentes was last seen. After parking, he saw tire tracks leading away from the road and went out to investigate.
On Monday at around 1 o’clock, he began looking for the vehicle, and at around 6 o’clock, a search squad found it.
Investigators had already checked there, but Alcaraz claimed he “simply got lucky” by exiting the vehicle at the correct position among the dense vegetation.
Mims said rescuers descended 400 feet down the mountainside to reach Fuentes’ car, which was hidden from view from the road.
The disappearance of Jolissa Fuentes sparked the interest of the local community, who posted flyers in their windows and joined the “Find Jolissa Fuentes” Facebook group to offer their condolences, as well as a group of professional divers.
Fuentes’s loved ones have been very visible on social media, organizing search parties and offering a $10,000 prize in the case.
Her father, Joey Fuentes, expressed appreciation to the people who kept the story trending on social media.
I appreciate all of your support. When he said, “not only the neighborhood, but this whole nation,” he was clearly moved. “My wife, my sisters, and my entire family’s cries of anguish were heard across the land.”
According to Alcaraz, the younger Fuentes was impressed by the beauty of the local area and decided to take a drive through it. He claimed that an investigation was being conducted by the California Highway Patrol.
Oregon’s Adventures with Purpose diving crew helped out earlier this year by using their sonar gear to survey Pine Flat and Avocado Lakes.
Authorities have stated that Fuentes’s departure for such a long period of time is out of character. By late August, it had become clear that criminal proceedings were warranted.
A sister earlier stated that Fuentes tried to contact her twice over Facebook Messenger at around 5:25 a.m. on the morning she disappeared, but the sister was asleep and did not answer.
According to Alcaraz, there was no cell phone reception in that region, thus authorities assume the calls were made before the accident.