Family of Auberry woman found dead expresses disappointment with how law enforcement handled investigation

CBS47 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Family and friends of the woman found dead in Auberry over the weekend made their voices heard with a rally in downtown Fresno Monday.

They held signs for 27-year-old Bessie Walker who was reported missing on the 8th. Her body was found by a search party of friends and family Saturday.

“She had a beautiful smile. She had a great laugh. She was amazing and she was ours,” Rayetta Lara, Walker’s sister said.

“She’s a mother of three children. How am I going to tell them she’s gone?” Ruthie Beecher, Walker’s mother said.

Walker’s family said they wanted authorities to use more resources to find her sooner.

Loved ones gathered in front of the Sheriff’s Office in protest, expressing disappointment with the investigation and hoping to spotlight the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement, or MMIW.

“We wanted the Sheriff’s Department to at least look for her, at least a day or two, a helicopter, a K-9, some volunteers, gather some up. The community was doing what we could but we needed more eyes, more ears,” Paul Beecher, Walker’s cousin said.

Walker was last seen on the 4th and reported missing on the 8th.

Sheriff Margaret Mims said two investigators were dedicated to the case full time and had worked nearly 1,000 hours.

Mims said Auberry was not a focus because the information they received from family, friends, and tipsters revolved around sightings in Fresno.

“We went to those locations, and we knocked on doors, and we questioned people and we looked for video. So any time we got information about a specific location where she might be found that’s where we went,” she said.

Mims said they will not pull investigators off this case and stresses it won’t close until there are some answers.

“We still believe there’s somebody in that community in our area that has information about what happened with her,” she said.

The cause of Walker’s death has been ruled inconclusive. The Sheriff’s Office is now waiting on toxicology results which could take 2 to 3 weeks.

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