An earlier headline of this story said missing mom found dead, which is incorrect. Missy Hernandez has still not been found, according to Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies. The headline has been updated.
FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The search for a 30-year-old Fresno mom has turned into a homicide investigation. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 41-year-old Ramon Jimenez, accused of murdering Missy Hernandez, who has been missing for over a month.
What’s unique about the case, is that her body has not been found. It’s the second murder trial in Fresno County in nearly 50 years that’s prosecuted without a body.
“[Jimenez] is being held in the Fresno County jail on charges of murder and domestic violence, and he’s not eligible for bail,” said Sheriff Margaret Mims on Thursday.
Hernandez was last seen at an art show in downtown Fresno on the night of Dec. 7, with Jimenez.
“The next day, friends contacted the Sheriff’s Office to check Missy’s well-being because they were unable to get a hold of her. They considered it unusual for Missy to not respond in a timely manner,” said Mims.
Jimenez has been behind bars since Dec. 8, initially on a pending domestic violence charge from October, also involving Missy.
On Dec. 9, Mims said her friends went to her home and called the authorities because they suspected she may be injured.
Jimenez was charged with murder on Jan. 11.
“We found evidence of a lot of blood at the scene,” the Sheriff said.
What they haven’t found is her body, bringing a unique challenge to the case. The last time the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted a murder trial without a body was in 1974.
The Sheriff said digital evidence showed possible locations where the victim might be, including undisclosed places outside Fresno County.
“Just this morning we got an additional location, so we’re gonna continue to search,” said Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.
As the search continues, officials said they currently have enough evidence to prove the suspect committed the crime.
“Over the course of the monthlong investigation, detectives developed an overwhelming amount of forensic and digital evidence,” said Mims.
“He’s facing 25 [years] to life,” said Smittcamp.
“The last month, it’s been really difficult, devastating,” Missy’s older sister, Daisy Hernandez, said. “Her smile, it’s unforgettable.”
As the investigation moves forward, her loved ones are hoping for answers.
“That’s our main mission, to bring justice, to find her. Anybody that knows any information in regards to Missy, please I beg and I ask for you to call the local authorities.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Gary Haslam at (559) 367-4734, or at (559) 600-8209. You can also call the dispatch center at (559) 600-3111. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, or on their website. You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Jimenez is set to appear in court for arraignment on March 22. His bail will be revisited on that date.