SELMA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A volunteer search and rescue dive team credited with finding a body that authorities say is believed to be a missing California teen is now joining the search for 22-year-old Jolissa Fuentes.
Fuentes was reported missing after she was last seen at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 7 leaving an ampm store at a gas station in the area of Highland and Nebraska avenues in Selma.
During a press conference on Monday, Doug Bishop and Nick Rinn of the group Aventures with Purpose announced the team will be coming to Fresno County in the coming week to help search for Fuentes.
“We will be taking the next two days to properly debrief, decompress, and prepare for our next case, which is 22-year-old Jolissa Fuentes in Selma, California,” said Bishop.
The Oregon-based group of divers has brought closure to families across the country by helping authorities solve 23 missing person cold cases since 2019, posting videos of the search efforts for their over 2.4 million YouTube subscribers.
On Sunday, Adventures with Purpose made headlines after claiming in a Facebook post that they had found human remains inside a vehicle believed to belong to 16-year-old Kiely Rodni in the Prosser Creek Reservoir, just north of Truckee, California.
The crew arrived at the reservoir at 10:40 a.m. on their second day of searching for the missing teen and reported finding the vehicle upside down in 14 feet of water just over half an hour later.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the remains, but Nevada County Sheriff Shannon Moon said that investigators believe it is the body of the missing teen.
“We have located a decedent inside the vehicle,” said Sheriff Moon. “We believe it is our missing person. We have not been able to positively identify, but it’s more than likely where we are today.”
Over two weeks since Fuentes was reported missing, the Selma Police Department held a press conference Monday to provide updates on the case.
Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz said Fuentes had gone to a family gathering at 8:00 p.m., leaving at around 3:00 a.m. to grab some undisclosed belongings from her home on the night of her disappearance.
After getting the items, investigators said Fuentes left home and went to make a purchase at the ampm store, where she was captured on surveillance footage turning west onto Nebraska Avenue while driving away. At 5:24 a.m. and 5:25 a.m., Jolissa’s father, Joey Fuentes, said his other daughter missed two Facetime calls from the missing woman’s phone number.
Several days into the investigation, Chief Alcaraz said the department was able to access phone records that revealed Fuentes had traveled through Sanger after leaving the store and her phone last pinged in the Pine Flat Lake and Avocado Lake area, where she is known by family to hang out. Jolissa’s phone has since gone silent.
“It’s very rare that a 22-year-old girl has no digital footprint, i.e. cell phone, social media, bank cards, things of that nature,” said Chief Alcaraz. “The Fuentes family was adamant that this was not normal behavior for Jolissa, which again, brings us our concern.”
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has been helping in the investigation, with search and rescue crews combing through the Pine Flat and Avocado Lake area on ground and by air with a helicopter.
Fuentes was last seen driving a silver four-door 2011 Hyundai Accent with a California license plate of #8MPU766. The car has not been found since Fuentes’ disappearance.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information that helps lead to Fuentes’ whereabouts.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Detective Richard Figueroa at (559) 891-2243, or Detective Matthew Hughes at (559) 891-2266.