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Arrest made in suspicious death of 16-year-old girl

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney gives a press briefing on the arrest of suspect Codi Slayton in the suspicious death of 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez.


Following a months-long investigation into the suspicious death of 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez, Madera County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested 19-year-old Codi Slayton, formerly of Madera, early Thursday on charges of first degree murder.

On Oct. 22, 2019, shortly before 10:30 a.m., the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service regarding a possible deceased person, who was found at a rural agricultural property in Southern Madera County. Upon arrival at the scene, deputies found the body of 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez. Due to the disposition of the body, the incident was handled as a suspicious death and detectives responded to the location.

Madera County Sheriff’s Detectives immediately launched a comprehensive investigation into the circumstance surrounding Josephine’s death. In December of 2019, detectives were contacted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. During their investigation into an independent manner, NCIS investigators identified a subject they believed may be connected with the case. MCSO detectives promptly traveled to interview the suspect, 19-year-old Codi Slayton, in Oceanside. Following an interview with detectives, Slayton was taken into custody by NCIS on unrelated charges.

For The Madera Tribune

Murder suspect Codi Slayton.


Based on information derived from his interview with MCSO detectives, as well as evidence discovered during an additional follow up investigation, Slayton was taken into custody by Madera County sheriff’s detectives. He was subsequently transported and booked at the Madera County Department of Corrections for felony first degree murder. Clayton remains in custody on a $1 million bond.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Slayton used various social media applications to generate and maintain communication with Josephine, and with young girls throughout California, and possibly other regions of the United States. Anyone who may have had online communication with Codi Slayton can contact the Madera County Sheriff’s Office. To speak directly with a detective, call Det. Cpl. Noland (559-232-8753), or Det. Gutierrez (559-514-5869). Anonymous tips may be made through Valley Crime Stoppers, 559-498-STOP (7867), or by texting “Tip MaderaSO,” followed by your message to 888777.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend its gratitude to the Naval Criminal Investigative Services, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their collaboration and professional courtesy throughout the investigation. They would also like to thank the many members of the public who contacted the office with tips and information in an effort to solve this case. And finally, to media partners for their assistance in the widespread sharing of the case.

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