MADERA COUNTY – As the investigation continues into the death of a 17-year-old Simi Valley girl who died at Rock Creek Campground, Sheriff John Anderson is asking for the public’s help.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have seen 20-year-old Scott Jacob Mason, 18-year-old Jacob Patrick Banaga or the victim, 17-year-old Tara Maguire, between Saturday Dec. 14 and Monday Dec. 16, to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770.
Tara Maguire’s body was recovered from Rock Creek by Search & Rescue after she was discovered late Monday, Dec. 16. Her two companions, Mason and Banaga, were arrested late Monday night, and remain behind bars. They are being held for willful cruelty to a child, with their bail currently set at $10,000.
The area above North Fork along the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway where the group ended up is a popular destination for locals and tourists year round. The Sheriff hopes there may be people who were in the area cutting firewood, riding snowmobiles or recreating during this time period, who saw something that would help with the investigation.
The trio would have been seen near the area of Rock Creek sometime between Saturday Dec. 14 and Monday Dec. 16.
They were without proper clothing for the elements, and had run out of gas, food and water.
“Anyone who either saw or may have spoken to a member of this party, we are asking you to please come forward,” said Sheriff Anderson.
Please call the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770.
Click here for a searchable Google map for the exact location of Rock Creek on the Scenic Byway.
Click here for the story of the Search & Rescue.