Did North Hollywood couple drive off Ragged Point?
January 4, 2017
Authorities found one dead person and a deceased dog lying near a tan-colored sedan that was resting about 325 feet below Highway 1 near Ragged Point. Officials are not disclosing the identity of the body, but suspicion is growing that it is either Olivia Hannah Gonzalez or Brian Fernandez.
Gonzalez, 20, and Fernandez, 21, have been missing for nearly two weeks. The couple was traveling to Big Sur in a tan 2002 four-door Honda Civic, and they brought two large dogs with them. Their last purchase was tracked to the Old Cambria Market Place, and a Cambria woman reported seeing the couple at Ragged Point.
On Tuesday afternoon, rescue crews discovered a mangled tan sedan that was in a tidal zone beneath Highway 1. Authorities have yet to say whether the sedan is the vehicle Gonzalez and Fernandez were driving. There is no word either about the possible discovery of a second body.
Rescuers recovered the one body and the one dead dog before high tide Tuesday. The vehicle will be removed from the location on Wednesday, according to the CHP.
CHP officers are investigating the crash. It is unclear what caused the car to go over the cliff and when the accident happened.
The North Hollywood couple’s visit to Old Cambria Market Place occurred on Dec. 23. They were due back in Los Angeles for Christmas, but they did not show up. The couple stopped responding to calls and messages before the holidays began.
Gonzalez’s sister, Vanessa Guzman, has been searching for the couple and has made at least one trip up to the Central Coast. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office had also been flying a plane along the coast in search of the couple.
Search efforts had been hampered by bad weather, though. There have been recent rock slides in the area, too.
Personnel from the San Luis Obispo County coroner’s office came out to Ragged Point on Tuesday. The county sheriff’s office, for which the coroner works, is responsible for identifying the dead body.
Guzman, who remains hopeful, appeared on KTLA in Los Angles.
“Honestly I feel that my sister’s alive and I feel that she’s safe. I don’t feel that they went off a cliff. I do believe that they went to Cambria based on Brian’s last credit card usage. But, I believe that they’d seen the conditions and they turned back around,” Guzman said.