Missy Hernandez's Body Found In California Aqueduct

Crime
CBS47 KSEE24 | YouTube

Damir Mujezinovic

Thirty-year-old Missy Hernandez was last seen on December 7, when she left an art show in Fresno, California with her boyfriend Ramon Jimenez.

The following day, Missy's friends contacted the Fresno County Sherriff's Office, saying they are unable to reach her. A deputy paid a visit to the young woman's home on Chestnut Avenue -- Missy was not there, but Jimenez was.

Jimenez was arrested that day and has been in custody since. Last week, he was charged with Missy's murder.

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Domestic Abuse, Murder

Dolly Ayala | GoFundMe

A group of Missy's friends went to her house on December 9, where they found evidence that she "may be injured and in need of help," and contacted the Fresno County Sherriff's Office.

Deputies responded and began collecting evidence. They soon realized that Missy disappeared under suspicious circumstances, and identified Jimenez as a person of interest, requesting that he be held without eligibility for bail.

"Over the course of the month-long investigation, detectives developed an overwhelming amount of forensic and digital evidence. Some of which included DNA indicating a violent act took place at Missy’s home," the sheriff's office said.

Body Found

As reported by CNN, the Sheriff's Office embarked on a "dangerous dive operation" this week and discovered Hernandez's lifeless body.

Her body was found in the California Aqueduct, weighed down beneath the water surface.

The dive operation was complicated, and lasted around three hours, according to authorities. Divers had to be careful not to touch the bottom of the aqueduct as they searched for Hernandez's body, as to not obscure visibility.

Additional details about how and when Hernandez was murdered have yet to be released.

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Assistant Fresno County District Attorney Jerry Stanley said in a statement that the discovery will help the authorities in their "pursuit of justice."

"While today's announcement is both sad and meaningful for Missy's family and her loved ones, it will not change the charges in the case. It does however, add a critical new evidentiary component to the case that will help our pursuit of justice for Missy and her family," Stanley said.

As for Jimenez, he faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Missy Hernandez

CBS47 KSEE24 | YouTube

Hernandez's niece Dolly Ayala recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for funeral costs.

She described her aunt as a "loving, caring, selfless person always giving and always putting others before her own needs."

Ayala said Missy tried to get away from Jimenez many times.

"She was murdered by someone who abused her daily, a coward who took her from her daughter and family in the worst possible way. She tried to leave and get away many times and in the end she lost this long fight," she wrote.

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