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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Authorities found the body of a missing California woman days after her boyfriend accused her of murder.

Sheri Mossberg | CNN

Divers from the Fresno County, Calif., sheriff’s office embarked on a “dangerous dive” this week and discovered the body of Missy Hernandez, who was last seen more than a month ago, authorities said Tuesday.

The recovery came just days after Hernandez’s boyfriend, Ramon Jimenez, was charged with murder.

Hernandez’s body was recovered Sunday from the California Aqueduct, Sheriff Margaret Mims said at a news conference.

Her body was found underground, Mims said, without providing further details.

The delicate diving operation took about three hours as divers searched in the cold waters. According to Mims, each diver could only be underwater for about 30 minutes at a time and could not touch the bottom of the aqueduct, as the collapse of the silt at the bottom made it difficult to see.

Jimenez, 41, was charged last week in connection with Hernandez’s death. Authorities said Thursday he is being held at the Fresno County Jail on charges of murder and domestic violence. He has already been in custody since he was arrested on December 8 — a day after Hernandez was last seen — after an officer identified him as a suspect in a previous domestic abuse incident against Hernandez.

“While today’s announcement is sad and significant for Missy’s family and loved ones, it will not change the charges in the case,” Fresno County Assistant District Attorney Jerry Stanley said Tuesday. “However, this adds an important new evidentiary component to the case that will help us achieve justice for Missy and her family.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses, the sheriff’s office said.

Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smithkamp said Jimenez appeared in court with a public defender last week and that his next hearing is scheduled for March 22, after which a lawyer will be formally assigned to his case. The Fresno County public defender’s office on Friday declined to comment.

Hernandez, 30, was last seen at an art show in downtown Fresno on Dec. 7 with Jimenez, authorities said.

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