UPDATE (Nov. 17, 11:27 a.m.): The excavation in the case of a missing woman from 2000 to be conducted in Ridgecrest on November 17.
Long Beach Police announced Wednesday, November 16 that the search would take place.
Detectives now believe that 27-year-old Diana Rojas was murdered and will examine an area in Ridgecrest, California, in an attempt to locate her remains.
In 2000, Diana Rojas and her 2-year-old daughter lived in an apartment in the 5500 block of Ackerfield Avenue. Diana was last seen at her home on Friday, October 20, 2000. She missed a scheduled appointment the next day. On Sunday, when her family was still unable to locate Diana or her black 1992 Nissan pickup truck, they called police.
At the time of Diana’s disappearance, her daughter was in the care of a family member at another residence. By all accounts, it was uncharacteristic for Diana to leave her child without warning.
Due to suspicious circumstances at the residence, Homicide detectives responded to the scene to investigate. They collected evidence from the apartment and interviewed relatives and friends.
Unfortunately, none of the information led to Diana’s whereabouts and the case went cold. At the time of her disappearance, Diana worked at a church and helped young single mothers.
She was 27-year-old Filipino and Hispanic woman, 5'2" and 115 pounds. Diana had medium -length brown hair and was last seen wearing a pink shirt with spaghetti straps, blue sweatpants with a "Winnie the Pooh" logo on the left leg and a blue zip-up jacket with medical insignia on the left side.
Her car was a black with white pinstripes 1992 Nissan Extended Cab pickup, Texas license plate number BY3242 and the driver's side door lock and radio were missing.
The victim's vehicle has never been located.
Detectives received an anonymous tip that the Diana was deceased and a location where she could possibly be located.
Further investigation led to Ridgecrest, California, where detectives believe Diana’s remains may be buried.
On Thursday, November 17, 2016, Long Beach Police with assistance of the Ridgecrest Police Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, and NecroSearch will excavate an area in Ridgecrest.
The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding Diana Rojas or her vehicle is urged to call Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Mark Bigel and Todd Johnson at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 1(800) 222-TIPS (8477).