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Police chief’s hunch helps locate missing Selma, CA woman last seen in August

Selma PD Chief speaks at Jolissa Fuentes news conference
Posted at 10:09 PM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 01:09:30-04

FRESNO, Calif. (KERO) — 22-year-old Jolissa Fuentes was last seen at a convenience store in Selma, California on August 7th. After months of searching, her body and vehicle have now been found.

Investigators traced cellphone signals from Jolissa’s phone to the Pine Flat Lake area, but multiple searches at that location had been unsuccessful.

Sunday afternoon, Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz went up to Pine Flat himself. According to him, he intended to be a fresh set of eyes.

When Alcaraz spotted bits of car debris and tire tracks, he called the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. The search and rescue team, with the help of a drone, was then able to locate Jolissa’s car and body.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office released a photograph of the badly damaged car.

At a press conference Tuesday, Jolissa’s father expressed gratitude that the Chief Alcaraz followed his hunch.

“I thank God. He’s my hero. He is my hero,” said Joey Fuentes. “He promised me he was going to find my daughter. He didn’t tell me when, but he said he would. He was the one who found her. He was a man of his word.”

The story gained national attention because of the persistence of Jolissa’s family. They worked closely with police every day to follow up on tips called in from the the area, as well as from other states.

Alcaraz says his police experience helped him put the puzzle pieces together and make the discovery that is now bringing closure to the young woman’s family.