SLO sheriff calls off search for missing North Hollywood man

January 28, 2017
Olivia Hannah Gonzalez and Brian Fernandez

Olivia Hannah Gonzalez and Brian Fernandez

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s has called off its search in the Ragged Point area for Brian Fernandez of North Hollywood, who has now been missing for more than a month.

Fernandez, 21, disappeared along with his girlfriend, Olivia Hannah Gonzalez, 20, on Dec. 23. Rescue workers found Gonzalez’s body lying beside a tan 2002 four-door Honda Civic about 325 feet below Highway 1 near Ragged Point.

One of two dogs that disappeared along with the couple was also found dead lying near the vehicle. The car belonged to Fernandez.

Sheriff’s officials say they have done an exhaustive search of the area around where the car wreck occurred. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has also flown a plane along the coast.

SLO County’s coroner performed an autopsy on Gonzalez earlier this month. The results of the autopsy are not yet known.

Officials say there are no signs of foul play in the death of either Gonzalez or Fernandez. The CHP is still investigating the car crash.

A search for the missing couple began when they stopped responding to calls and messages shortly before Christmas. The couple was due back in Los Angeles for Christmas, but did not show up.

Fernandez and Gonzalez were tracked to the North Coast of SLO County via the missing man’s credit card log. The last purchase on Fernandez’s card occurred at Old Cambria Market Place on Dec. 23. A Cambria woman later reported seeing the couple at Ragged Point.







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13 Comments

  1. DPINC says:

    But the search,,,, results in alot of double and triple overtime ,,, So instead of looking for him somewhere else it is better to concentrate on the overtime issue .

    (-11) 23 Total Votes - 6 up - 17 down
  2. Indy thinker says:

    Or aliens got him….scoop and jarhead are craving a juicy twist.

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
  3. jarhead says:

    I totally agree his body would have been close if he went off the cliff also , he most likely resides in mexico at this time

    (-9) 45 Total Votes - 18 up - 27 down
  4. scoopone says:

    I suggest authorities look for Brian in his hometown. It was mentioned at least once that
    Olivia was going to tell him she was breaking up with him during this trip. Is it possible that he drugged her and pushed the vehicles over the side of other road? It’s been done before!! Hard to believe that his body wasn’t found somewhere near the wreckage.

    (3) 45 Total Votes - 24 up - 21 down
    • paragon says:

      So tell us, “scoopone”, what exactly is your source to say she was going to break up with him? None of the news stories on this tragedy said anything like that. Are you friends with the family? More likely, you are an internet troll who gets his jollies off making up slanderous conspiracy theories about innocent victims.

      If he drugged her, that can be easily detected. Also, this is an area with few houses, lots of tourist traffic and only Highway 1 to get in and out of there. So how exactly did he make it back to his “home town”? Did he supposedly plan it way out in advance to stash an extra car somewhere? Or maybe you think he somehow walked or hitchhiked out of the area undetected and unreported to the police? And supposing he did all this, he now has to avoid all contact with anyone he knows, give up all his assets, and come up with a new identity in his home town, or otherwise his scheme would be instantly detected in this age of digital records.

      The car crashed off a cliff over the Pacific Ocean – it’s not to hard to believe that his body got washed away. It’s much harder to believe your insane conspiracy theory designed to throw shade on an innocent person.

      (7) 45 Total Votes - 26 up - 19 down
      • slojoey says:

        KTLA ran the story in December with Olivia’s sister stating she was going to break up with him.

        (18) 30 Total Votes - 24 up - 6 down
          • paragon says:

            Uh, nice try, but did you actually read the story you linked to? It says absolutely nothing about her planning to break up with him. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I also checked all the other stories about this on KTLA and none of them said anything about a planned breakup either. In fact they universally say that there is no sign of foul play.

            So for this theory of yours to work, she agrees to go on a romantic getaway with someone she wants to break up with and plans to break up with them in the middle of it (very unlikely timing), and then with no advance notice or planning he is able to perfectly execute a complicated staged accident that doesn’t raise the suspicions of police or the coroner, and is also able to make a clean getaway with no getaway vehicle in an area heavily travelled by tourists? And you think all this is somehow more likely than his body being washed away by the stormy waves of the Pacific? Yeah right!

            I know you guys all love a good conspiracy, but the simple answer is almost always the correct one.

            (0) 24 Total Votes - 12 up - 12 down
            • humanform says:

              Uh, you might want to take the time to watch the video. Her sister does say Olivia was supposed to break up with her boyfriend (time mark 1:05).

              (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
              • sloslo says:

                Yeah, the sister says she heard that from someone else who talked to Olivia, so yeah third hand hearsay – probably from someone who didn’t like the boyfriend and wanted to plant a thought to let everyone’s imagination run wild. If Olivia really said that and it was relevant, why isn’t this unnamed “friend” who supposedly heard it first hand talking to the media? The police and the media would have followed up on this lead if it was actually credible.

                The video also has a quote from the family saying the boyfriend wouldn’t harm Olivia in any way, but instead of believing that, you’d rather invent some ridiculous story around a third hand rumor from some unnamed source.

                (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
                • Re: Third party friend: She is talking to the authorities, not to Media. The death of two young people is enough to contend with rather than dragging more family facts into the matter for media news. – Local paper asks for help –

                  It was Brook Todd who spoke with Olivia on the 21st of Dec. before her leaving on a quick two day trip to appease her boyfriend that she was unsure of. Probably hoping to satisfy his request of spending Christmas with him while getting back to family for Christmas Day. (by nightfall)

                  Full article below from Monterey County newspaper speaks of sister’s concerns as related by best friend Brook. “Dating off and on… arguing over small stuff.”
                  Brian had an 11 month old child and Olivia probably not sure if she was ready to take that all on.
                  – Was he jealous she wanted freedom? You have to ask yourself…why BigSur for one day. Why not shopping or holiday parties to attend? Where is his body now? It has been almost ten months…

                  Article by Brenda Gazzar, bgazzar@scng.com, @bgazzar on Twitter

                  Posted: 01/02/17, 4:39 PM PST | Updated: 01/02/2017

                  Olivia Gonzalez and Brian Fernandez, both of North Hollywood, were believed to be headed to Big Sur for a holiday weekend trip with Fernandez’s dogs, Scooby and Luno. The two were due to return on Christmas but have not been heard from by their families since Dec. 23. (Courtesy photo in article)

                  Big Sur >> Poor weather prevented Monterey County sheriff’s deputies from conducting an aerial search Monday around Big Sur for a North Hollywood couple who may have visited the area for a weekend trip but failed to return on Christmas as planned, authorities said.

                  The Sheriff’s Office conducted an aerial search for two hours Saturday with their small Cessna plane and thought they might be able to search the area’s 70 miles of coast and cliff line again on Monday but intermittent rain and cold temperatures disrupted that plan, said Monterey County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Villasenor. Rain is expected to fall in Big Sur through Thursday.

                  “By Friday or the end of the week, that’s when we’re hoping we can get up in the air based on the circumstances,” Villasenor said, noting that rain and frigid temperatures can cause ice to form on the plane, making flying dangerous.

                  The Los Angeles Police Department reported last week that Olivia Hannah Gonzalez, 20, and Brian Fernandez, 21, who friends and family members said had been dating on and off for months, went missing during a holiday road trip to Big Sur. However, it’s not clear whether the pair ever arrived there or might have traveled elsewhere.

                  Gonzalez’s sister, Vanessa Guzman, said her husband got a text from Gonzalez at about 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 23 saying they were about two hours away from Big Sur. That was the last time Gonzalez’s family heard from her and she has not been reached by text or cellphone since then.

                  “I’m terrified,” said Guzman, who lives with her sister in North Hollywood. “I’m terrified that my sister’s not going to come back home.”

                  The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has also been searching the ground for the pair and their vehicle, a tan Honda Civic, in coordination with the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and California State Parks rangers in case they might be in the area, Villasenor said.

                  “We’re operating in the worst case scenario — (that) they’re in an accident or stuck somewhere,” he said.

                  Villasenor said there’s one main highway, Highway 1, and a couple of dirt roads for camping areas, which are being searched as a matter of standard procedure.

                  Guzman said she and her husband on Dec. 30 heard from a woman in Cambria who believes she saw the couple with two large dogs at Ragged Point, a coast landmark ocean view tourist spot near the Monterey County line, on Dec. 23. Guzman described the dogs as a brown husky and a golden retriever who have the names Scooby and Luno.

                  An LAPD detective had also told Guzman that there was video footage of Fernandez using a credit card at a liquor store in Cambria. Guzman, who never met Fernandez, said she and her husband were there and in Big Sur Friday handing out fliers and looking for Fernandez’s vehicle.

                  Fernandez’s mother declined to be interviewed on Monday via text but said there was no news about the pair. She told the Daily News last week that her son on the morning of Dec. 23 said that he was going camping and would return on Christmas Day, which is not unusual for him since he loves camping. But he never returned or called, which she said was unusual for him.

                  Brook Todd, who is Olivia Gonzalez’s best friend, said she spoke on Dec. 21 to Gonzalez, who told her that she and Fernandez were having problems as usual, arguing over “little things that weren’t necessary.”

                  “She also said (Fernandez) wanted to spend Christmas with her and she did not know what she wanted to do,” Todd said.

                  Gonzalez also told her that she and Fernandez had wanted to go to a music festival in Lake Tahoe for New Year’s — something Gonzalez had talked about for months — but her friend had never mentioned anything about going to Big Sur, she said.

                  “All I know is that they both really wanted to travel,” Todd said, noting she had never met Fernandez.

                  Fernandez was driving a tan 2002 Honda Civic four-door sedan, with a California license plate number of 5VUD295, according to Los Angeles police.

                  Gonzalez is Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches tall, and weighs 120 pounds. She has blonde hair and brown eyes. Fernandez is also Hispanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighs 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

                  “Olivia was the strongest, most independent, beautiful woman I ever met; I want her to come home,” her friend, Todd said. “I hope (Fernandez) comes home too safe. … Knowing she’s out there and we have no contact with her aches my heart.”

                  Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts can call the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800 and ask for Detective M. Palmer. After hours or weekend calls should be directed to 877-527-3247, or anonymously through LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
            • Here is the story from Monterey local newspaper including writer article below:

              It was Brook Todd who spoke with Olivia on the 21st of Dec. before her leaving on a two day trip to appease her boyfriend, that she was unsure of. Probably hoping to satisfy his request of spending Christmas with him while getting back to family for Christmas Day. (by nightfall)

              Full article below from Monterey County newspaper speaks of sister’s concerns as related by best friend Brook: “Dating off and on… arguing over small stuff.”
              Brian had an 11 month old child and Olivia probably not sure if she was ready to take that all on.
              – Was he jealous she wanted freedom? You have to ask yourself…why BigSur for one day. Why not shopping or holiday parties to attend? Where is his body now? It has been almost ten months…

              Article by Brenda Gazzar, bgazzar@scng.com, @bgazzar on Twitter

              Posted: 01/02/17, 4:39 PM PST | Updated: 01/02/2017

              Olivia Gonzalez and Brian Fernandez, both of North Hollywood, were believed to be headed to Big Sur for a holiday weekend trip with Fernandez’s dogs, Scooby and Luno. The two were due to return on Christmas but have not been heard from by their families since Dec. 23. (Courtesy photo in article)

              Big Sur >> Poor weather prevented Monterey County sheriff’s deputies from conducting an aerial search Monday around Big Sur for a North Hollywood couple who may have visited the area for a weekend trip but failed to return on Christmas as planned, authorities said.

              The Sheriff’s Office conducted an aerial search for two hours Saturday with their small Cessna plane and thought they might be able to search the area’s 70 miles of coast and cliff line again on Monday but intermittent rain and cold temperatures disrupted that plan, said Monterey County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Villasenor. Rain is expected to fall in Big Sur through Thursday.

              “By Friday or the end of the week, that’s when we’re hoping we can get up in the air based on the circumstances,” Villasenor said, noting that rain and frigid temperatures can cause ice to form on the plane, making flying dangerous.

              The Los Angeles Police Department reported last week that Olivia Hannah Gonzalez, 20, and Brian Fernandez, 21, who friends and family members said had been dating on and off for months, went missing during a holiday road trip to Big Sur. However, it’s not clear whether the pair ever arrived there or might have traveled elsewhere.

              Gonzalez’s sister, Vanessa Guzman, said her husband got a text from Gonzalez at about 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 23 saying they were about two hours away from Big Sur. That was the last time Gonzalez’s family heard from her and she has not been reached by text or cellphone since then.

              “I’m terrified,” said Guzman, who lives with her sister in North Hollywood. “I’m terrified that my sister’s not going to come back home.”

              The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has also been searching the ground for the pair and their vehicle, a tan Honda Civic, in coordination with the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and California State Parks rangers in case they might be in the area, Villasenor said.

              “We’re operating in the worst case scenario — (that) they’re in an accident or stuck somewhere,” he said.

              Villasenor said there’s one main highway, Highway 1, and a couple of dirt roads for camping areas, which are being searched as a matter of standard procedure.

              Guzman said she and her husband on Dec. 30 heard from a woman in Cambria who believes she saw the couple with two large dogs at Ragged Point, a coast landmark ocean view tourist spot near the Monterey County line, on Dec. 23. Guzman described the dogs as a brown husky and a golden retriever who have the names Scooby and Luno.

              An LAPD detective had also told Guzman that there was video footage of Fernandez using a credit card at a liquor store in Cambria. Guzman, who never met Fernandez, said she and her husband were there and in Big Sur Friday handing out fliers and looking for Fernandez’s vehicle.

              Fernandez’s mother declined to be interviewed on Monday via text but said there was no news about the pair. She told the Daily News last week that her son on the morning of Dec. 23 said that he was going camping and would return on Christmas Day, which is not unusual for him since he loves camping. But he never returned or called, which she said was unusual for him.

              Brook Todd, who is Olivia Gonzalez’s best friend, said she spoke on Dec. 21 to Gonzalez, who told her that she and Fernandez were having problems as usual, arguing over “little things that weren’t necessary.”

              “She also said (Fernandez) wanted to spend Christmas with her and she did not know what she wanted to do,” Todd said.

              Gonzalez also told her that she and Fernandez had wanted to go to a music festival in Lake Tahoe for New Year’s — something Gonzalez had talked about for months — but her friend had never mentioned anything about going to Big Sur, she said.

              “All I know is that they both really wanted to travel,” Todd said, noting she had never met Fernandez.

              Fernandez was driving a tan 2002 Honda Civic four-door sedan, with a California license plate number of 5VUD295, according to Los Angeles police.

              Gonzalez is Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches tall, and weighs 120 pounds. She has blonde hair and brown eyes. Fernandez is also Hispanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighs 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

              “Olivia was the strongest, most independent, beautiful woman I ever met; I want her to come home,” her friend, Todd said. “I hope (Fernandez) comes home too safe. … Knowing she’s out there and we have no contact with her aches my heart.”

              Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts can call the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800 and ask for Detective M. Palmer. After hours or weekend calls should be directed to 877-527-3247, or anonymously through LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

              (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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