Woman’s Body Discovered After Kidnap, Shoot-Out

Associated Press

The body of a missing Bakersfield woman was found inside her van, which police said was used in a weekend abduction and slaying in Hesperia that ended in a roadside shoot-out with an officer.

The body found under carpeting and luggage in the van was identified Tuesday as Billie Faye Jones, 42. San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies obtained a search warrant for the van Monday on information from Kern County authorities, who said Ms. Jones had been missing since Friday.

Results of a coroner’s autopsy to determine the cause of death were not expected until Wednesday, said San Bernardino Coroner’s Deputy Frank Lee.


No charges were filed in connection with the Jones case pending the outcome of the autopsy, said San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Bryant.

In custody Tuesday after a shoot-out with a Coachella police officer was Isaac Gutierrez, 42, of Bakersfield, the man police said was driving the van with a 17-year-old youth as a passenger and Gutierrez’s estranged wife, Rosa, as a kidnap victim.

Police found Rosa Gutierrez’s fiance, John C. Stopher, 25, shot to death in the shower of his Hesperia home about two hours after Rosa Gutierrez was rescued by officers early Saturday.

Coachella Officer Dave Dunavet had stopped the van because it had a burned-out headlight. Gutierrez allegedly jumped from the van and pulled a gun on the officer, but it misfired. The 17-year-old who was a passenger was armed with a shotgun but dropped the weapon on orders from officers.

Gutierrez was wounded in the arm and leg and remained in custody Tuesday at Riverside General Hospital, said San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Bryant. The hospital refused to disclose Gutierrez’s condition.

Both Gutierrez and the youth, who was not identified because of his age, were booked for investigation of murder, attempted murder and kidnaping in connection with the Hesperia slaying and kidnaping.

Rosa Gutierrez told officers the men entered the Hesperia house she shared with Stopher and forced her into the van after shooting Stopher. Hesperia is about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles, and Coachella is about 80 miles from the residence.

Bryant said Tuesday no additional charges would be filed against Gutierrez pending the outcome of the autopsy on Ms. Jones, who was an emergency room clerk at Kern Medical Center.

He said authorities were trying to establish whether Gutierrez knew Ms. Jones.