For The Madera Tribune
A 16-year-old girl who went missing on the evening of Oct. 13 has been found dead in a field about six or seven miles from her rural home.
It’s not known whether the girl walked away from her residence about 9:30 p.m. that night or left in a vehicle. Her death is being treated as suspicious, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators are not releasing many other details at this time, but the body, found on Oct. 22 has been positively identified as Josephine Jimenez. She was a junior at Madera High School.
“It doesn’t appear there was any kind of abduction, but we don’t know for sure who she left the area with,” Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney told news crews.
The last place Jimenez was reportedly seen was near Yosemite and Gateway in Madera. The Jimenez family had posted fliers on cars, corners and at businesses around Madera in hopes someone had seen her and or she that would come home.
Attempts to locate Jimenez through her cell phone were unsuccessful, investigators said, due to the phone not being activated and that her disappearance did not meet the conditions for an Amber Alert search according to officials.
The family said Josephine was one of five children, and that she was outgoing, athletic and kind. She was also planning on joining the military, they said.
Detectives are actively working the case and seeking any and all leads. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Madera County Sheriff’s Department at 675-7770.