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SAR teams search Merced River for missing Midpines woman - photo Mariposa Sheriff

Body Of Missing Woman Recovered From Merced River After 3-Day Search

MARIPOSA –  The body of a Midpines woman has been recovered from the Merced River along Highway 140 three days after she went missing while driving home from work in El Portal.

Jennifer Victoriano-Manzanares, age 26, was last seen on Saturday, May 18, when she left her job at Yosemite View Lodge in a gray Mitsubishi Endeavor.

According to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, Jennifer texted her family at 11:15 p.m., stating she was headed home to Midpines.

When she had not arrived at home by nearly 2:30 a.m., friends reported her overdue to the Sheriff’s Office.

Mariposa and Merced Search and Rescue (SAR) teams were already located in the river canyon performing annual training, and both units responded immediately.

Mariposa SAR located tire tracks in the dirt shoulder going over the embankment approximately two miles west of the Ferguson Rock Slide.

Water in the Merced River has continued to rise as storms pass through, and searchers had to deal with very murky water and poor visibility. However, SAR teams continued their search of the Merced River Canyon area on Sunday and into Monday, including the crash site and downriver.

Throughout the day on Monday as the weather cleared, the Sheriff’s Office utilized a drone to search the area and CHP Helicopter H-40 also conducted aerial recon.

On Tuesday, May 21, searchers located the Mitsubishi in the river approximately 500 feet from where it had exited the roadway.

At 12:30 p.m., the body of Jennifer Victoriano-Manzanares was located approximately 1.5 miles downriver from the original crash site, and was recovered by Mariposa SAR.

An account has been established in support of the family.

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