On Sunday, January 16th, members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Dive Team recovered a body from the bottom of the California Aqueduct, located in the area of S. Siskiyou and W. Dorris Avenues near Huron.
The victim, a woman, was later identified as 30 year old Missy Hernandez of Fresno. Hernandez had been missing 40 days prior to this discovery.
Due to suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance and significant time passing with no sign of Hernandez, detectives presumed her to be deceased. Based on digital evidence later discovered during the investigation, several locations were identified as places to search for Missy’s body. On two separate occasions, our Search and Rescue Team was assisted by the Kern County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team as they combed the Grapevine portion of Interstate 5, checking areas in Frazier Park and Lebec. Meanwhile, two separate ground searches were also conducted along the Highway 198 corridor in western Fresno County. After not having any success, a decision was made on January 16th to attempt a dangerous dive operation in a specific area of the California Aqueduct. This was conducted by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Dive Team. The move would ultimately bring a sense of closure as Hernandez’ body was discovered beneath the water.
Homicide detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office have arrested 41 year old Ramon Jimenez of Hanford for the murder of Missy Hernandez, who was his girlfriend. He is being held in the Fresno County Jail on charges of murder and domestic violence. He is not eligible for bail.
The last time Missy Hernandez was seen was on the night of December 7th, 2021 as she left at an art show in downtown Fresno with Ramon Jimenez. The next day, friends contacted the Sheriff’s Office to check on Missy’s well-being because they were unable to get ahold of her. They considered it unusual for Missy to not respond in a timely manner. During the early afternoon of December 8th, a deputy responded to her home on the 6000 block of S. Chestnut Ave. in Fresno. The deputy did not find Missy, but did make contact with Ramon Jimenez. The deputy recognized Jimenez as a person wanted for domestic violence against Missy in October 2021 at this same address. At that time, deputies responded and took a report from Missy, but Jimenez was not located. The deputy took Jimenez into custody on December 8th and booked him into jail.
On December 9th, friends of Missy went to her house and were able to get inside. Missy was nowhere to be found, but they did find evidence that she may be injured and in need of help. They made a report to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies, along with homicide detectives and members of the Crime Scene Unit eventually all responded to the home. Through the collection of evidence, Missy’s disappearance was considered suspicious. Detectives identified Ramon Jimenez as a person of interest and made a request to a judge that he be held without eligibility for bail, which was approved.
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. It was through following this evidence and relentlessly working this case that the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit was able to find Hernandez and deliver answers to her family.
If you wish to share additional information to aid in this investigation, please contact Detective Gary Haslam at (559) 367-4734, (559) 600-8209, or the dispatch center at (559) 600-3111. You may also contact Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, www.valleycrimestoppers.org You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
A Go Fund Me account has been established by the Hernandez family to help with funeral expenses. If you wish to help, visit https://gofund.me/721ada16