Law enforcement leaders say that the body of a missing 22-year-old Selma woman, Jolissa Fuentes, was recovered Monday evening near Pine Flat Lake.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz made the announcement at a Tuesday morning news conference.
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According to authorities, it appears that Fuentes’ car veered off Trimmer Springs Road near Maxon Road, about 60 miles east of Fresno. The road in that area is hilly and winding.
Selma Police Chief Finds Fuentes
During the news conference, it was revealed that Alcaraz found Fuentes during a search of the area. Her body was recovered about 500 feet below a cliff with the aid of drones providing views of the accident scene. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. The sheriff’s office said that foul play isn’t suspected in the case.
Jolissa’s father, Joey Fuentes, praised efforts to find his daughter since she was last seen on Aug. 7 driving a silver Hyundai sedan. The family patriarch on Tuesday called Alcaraz “his hero” and said that the police chief hunted to find Jolissa “like she was his own,” ABC30 reported.
“He promised me he would find her…he kept his word.”
The dad of #JolissaFuentes just spoke on behalf of the family. He is calling Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz his hero. The chief went out to Pine Flat Lake yesterday, and HE was the one who found the scene. pic.twitter.com/EwY2oJoSUc
— Amanda Aguilar ABC30 (@AAguilarTV) October 11, 2022
According to the sheriff’s office, Alcaraz discovered vehicle debris on Trimmer Springs Road as well as tire tracks that led through vegetation and over a cliff. He contacted the sheriff’s office, which dispatched a search-and-rescue team. Deputies rappelled about 400 feet down the embankment and found Fuentes’ car.
Human remains and some of Fuentes’ belongings were found in the ravine, the sheriff’s office said.
All-Out Effort to Find Fuentes
After Fuentes went missing, her family was joined by other Valley residents in trying to find her. They did media interviews and posted fliers throughout Fresno and other Valley cities with descriptions of her car and details about when she was last seen.
Jolissa Fuentes of Selma has been missing since August 7th. If you have information that could be helpful to law enforcement, contact the Selma Police Department at 559.896.2525 or the private investigator tip line at 866.331.6660. Our community is praying for her safe return. pic.twitter.com/ZwAekHkiEz
— Rep. David Valadao (@RepDavidValadao) September 20, 2022