Missing Person Diana Rojas Missing Vehicle (Click on images to enlarge)
Today, 11/17/2016, L.B.P.D. with the assistance of the Ridgecrest Police Department, the Kern County Sheriff's Department & Coroner's Office, and NecroSearch* conducted an excavation in the Ridgecrest, California, area. Four areas of interest near West Boston Avenue and South Guam Street were explored and all were ruled out. No human remains were located. Since 11/16/16, several tips have been received and detectives are pursuing those tips. Detectives are hopeful more will come forward. The investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Diana Rojas or her vehicle are urged to call Homicide detectives at (562) 570-7244.
Excavation equipment Kern County Sheriff's Department Cadaver Dogs
(Click on photos to enlarge images)
Long Beach Police announced today, November 16, 2016, an excavation will be conducted in connection with a missing person case that was initiated over 16 years ago. Detectives now believe that 27-year-old Diana Rojas was murdered and will examine an area in Ridgecrest, California, in an attempt to locate her remains.
In 2000, Diana Rojas and her 2-year-old daughter lived in an apartment in the 5500 block of Ackerfield Avenue. Diana was last seen at her home on Friday, October 20, 2000. She missed a scheduled appointment the next day. On Sunday, when her family was still unable to locate Diana or her black 1992 Nissan pick-up truck, they called police.
At the time of Diana’s disappearance, her daughter was in the care of a family member at another residence. By all accounts, it was uncharacteristic for Diana to leave her child without warning.
Due to suspicious circumstances at the residence, Homicide detectives responded to the scene to investigate. They collected evidence from the apartment and interviewed relatives and friends. Unfortunately, none of the information led to Diana’s whereabouts and the case went cold.
At the time of her disappearance, Diana worked at a church and helped young single mothers. She was described as follows:
Name: Diana Raquel Rojas
Age: 27 years
Race/Ethnicity: Filipino & Hispanic
Weight: 115 lbs.
Hair: Brown, medium length
Clothing: Pink shirt with spaghetti straps, blue sweatpants with “Winnie the Pooh” logo on the left leg, blue zip-up jacket with medical insignia on left side
Scars/Marks: Scars on her back
Visible Dental Work: None
Vehicle: 1992 Nissan Extended Cab pickup, black with white pinstripes, Texas License Plate #BY3242, driver’s side door lock and radio were missing
The victim’s vehicle has never been located.
Detectives received an anonymous tip that the Diana was deceased and a location where she could possibly be located. Technology and tools available today allowed detectives to move this case forward.
Further investigation led to Ridgecrest, California, where detectives believe Diana’s remains may be buried. Utilizing satellite images of Ridgecrest, NecroSearch* pinpointed areas where there were inconsistencies to the topography. Detectives requested the use of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau’s cadaver dogs that are trained to locate cadavers over 10 years old. During a search, the dogs showed interest in one of the areas.
On Thursday, November 17, 2016, Long Beach Police with assistance of the Ridgecrest Police Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, and NecroSearch will excavate an area in Ridgecrest. Ground penetrating radar will be used to search the desert-like terrain.
The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information regarding Diana Rojas or her vehicle is urged to call Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Mark Bigel and Todd Johnson at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through "LA Crime Stoppers" by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the "P3 Tips" app to your smart phone (available at the Apple App store and Google Play), or visiting www.LACrimeStoppers.org.
The Long Beach Police Department extends appreciation to the Los Angeles and Kern County Sheriff’s Departments, the Ridgecrest Police Department, and NecroSearch for their assistance with this investigation.
* NecroSearch is a multidisciplinary team of scientists and investigators who assist law enforcement in the location of clandestine graves and the recovery of evidence. Since 1988, NecroSearch has assisted in over 300 cases in over 43 states and 10 countries. The NecroSearch mission also includes training and research. NecroSearch is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and all members are volunteers. The two NecroSearch scientists who will be assisting in this search include a forensic geologist and forensic geophysicist with over 70 years of combined experience in locating clandestine graves.