Police searched Friday for a 26-year-old man wanted for questioning in the death of a woman with whom he was having a relationship who fell to her death from a moving car on the 210 Freeway.
Detectives are asking for the public’s help in finding Ricardo “Rick” Jimenez, who detectives believe was driving the car Thursday in Sylmar when Maria Josefina “Josie” Jimenez, 22, fell out the passenger door, said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Multiple vehicles struck her after she fell out.
Vernon said investigators believe the man had physically abused the woman earlier in the evening.
“We have multiple sources who have come forward, putting Rick and Josie at a local tattoo parlor before midnight, with Rick causing a disturbance and berating Josie in front of others,” said Vernon, adding that “Rick was driving Josie’s red Toyota Corolla when the two left the parlor, and now he has disappeared.”
Vernon said the woman’s best friend had gone to the tattoo parlor with the couple but left when the alleged abuse by Rick Jimenez became blatant.
Detectives, Vernon said, were able to work out what unfolded when a resident near the tattoo parlor came to the police station to report that a woman had come to her front door about midnight, asking for a ride to downtown.
Josie Jimenez’s girlfriend confirmed that Josie had gone to the house out of desperation to get away from Rick Jimenez, Vernon said.
Vernon said investigators have eliminated Josie Jimenez’s legal husband from any involvement in her death. While the two are married, they are estranged, and the husband had reported her missing to police.
Josie Jimenez and Rick Jimenez are unrelated, but they had a relationship, police said.
“Rick knows we want to talk to him over what happened,” Vernon said. “His avoidance raises a lot of questions for us.”
Vernon said Rick Jimenez is 5 feet 10 and has several tattoos, including HUSTLER on his neck and WEST COAST on his right forearm.
Detectives believe Rick Jimenez has abandoned the woman’s red Toyota with California license plate 6NED426.
Vernon said Rick Jimenez, who lives in North Hollywood, is believed to be driving a black, two-door Honda Civic with chromed rims and California license plate 6RJG807.
Josie Jimenez’s body was struck by several vehicles after landing on the freeway. Her family helped the coroner to identify her body through tattoos.
Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Gretchen Schultz with Mission homicide at (818) 838-9951.
Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cellphone.