Police dig in Kern County for missing woman’s remains

November 21, 2016
Diana Rojas

Diana Rojas

In similar fashion to San Luis Obispo County’s Kristin Smart case, Long Beach police detectives have reopened a missing person cold case and have begun digging for remains. Investigators searched for human remains in Kern County last week but did not find any. [Press-Telegram]

In 2000, Diana Rojas, a 27-year-old single mother who worked at a church and women’s shelter, went missing. At the time, Rojas had a 2-year-old daughter.

Police suspected foul play but never managed to track where Rojas went after disappearing from her Long Beach apartment. Police now believe Rojas was murdered.

On Wednesday, Long Beach police announced an anonymous tip had prompted them to reopen the case. The tip led investigators to the city of Ridgecrest in Kern County.  In Ridgecrest, investigators used a satellite survey and a cadaver dog to pinpoint areas where they though they might find Rojas’ remains.

During a single day of digging, detectives searched four sites but did not locate any remains. It is unclear whether the digging in Ridgecrest will continue.

Rojas was initially reported missing when she failed to pick up her daughter who was spending the weekend with Rojas’ estranged husband. Investigators interviewed Rojas’ husband but never identified him as a suspect.

Police said during Wednesday’s press conference that they do not yet have a suspect or a person of interest.

“Although it has been 16 years since Diana’s disappearance, we believe there are people out there who know what happened to her,” Long Beach police Sgt. Megan Zabel said.

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Ridgecrest is high desert and very rural. I hope they find her.