A young woman from Riverbank reported missing last week turned up dead in a Stockton field Saturday, and detectives today are searching for answers.
The body of Monica Lizeth Landeros-Jimenez, 19, was found with gunshot wounds to her torso in the 3000 block of Arch Airport Road, just west of Highway 99, according to San Joaquin County sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia.
The discovery of her body in the empty field at 12:15 p.m. came seven days after she had been reported missing by her sister, Dalia Landeros, who shares an apartment with Landeros-Jimenez in Riverbank.
Monica Landeros-Jimenez was last seen Feb. 26 in the parking lot of the Flamingo Club of Stockton nightclub at 1233 E. Charter Way, according to Det. Mark Copeland of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Copeland investigated the missing persons case last week.
He said Landeros-Jimenez arrived at the club with two friends in the evening and had planned to spend the night with them in Stockton.
At about 2:30 a.m. in the club’s parking lot, the three were going to head to Denny’s and wanted Landeros-Jimenez to ride with them. Landeros-Jimenez, who had been drinking, said she’d go with a man named Gerardo and meet them there, Copeland said.
The two girls said Landeros-Jimenez and Gerardo spent most of the night together at the bar, and some have said the two had been together before. Copeland said he's received conflicting reports about the seriousness of Landeros-Jimenez’s involvement with Gerardo.
The two friends told Copeland that when they left, Landeros-Jimenez was in the parking lot with Gerardo and another man.
Copeland said Landeros-Jimenez contacted the friends twice by phone soon after.
The first time, Landeros-Jimenez said they were being delayed by a flat tire and would be at Denny’s soon, according to Copeland. On the second call, according to one of the girls, Landeros-Jimenez told them they were near Lathrop, but they were turning around.
“There was a man’s voice in the background saying they were turning around,” Copeland said, adding that there was nothing about those two calls that could be deemed as “out of the ordinary.”
That was the last the friends heard from Landeros-Jimenez. They remained at Denny’s until about 4 a.m., then left figuring she was spending the night with Gerardo, Copeland said.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department is handling the homicide investigation, and nobody could be reached for comment this morning about an update on the case or any potential suspects.
Dalia Landeros filed a missing persons report Feb. 27 with police in Ripon, where she once lived. The information eventually was forwarded to Copeland, who went to Stockton to interview Landeros-Jimenez’s two friends and bar patrons.
Copeland said Landeros-Jimenez generally kept close contact with her family and wasn’t one to miss work for any reason.
Landeros-Jimenez worked at a market on Crows Landing Road in Modesto, according to Copeland. She has a young daughter whose father lives in San Jose. The daughter was with his family at the time Landeros-Jimenez went missing, Copeland said.
Here is a link to the Facebook page dedicated to Landeros-Jimenez.
Garcia is asking that anyone with information on the case call the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office at 468-4400.
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