20-year-old Dezirae Mendoza of Berea, California passed away Monday night after leaping from a car on the highway. There were two other female passengers in the van at the time that Mendoza jumped but both women told authorities that was no apparent reason for the jump.
The male driver of the van fled the scene but was later detained for questioning.
The story seems fishy, doesn't it? Right!
According to a family member of Mendoza's she sent them a text message saying that she was in a van and did not know the driver. She also said that she saw a "bat, gloves, and tape in the van." The family believes that she feared for her life and would not have intentionally harmed herself.
“Obviously we have a few questions we’re trying to ask … and that may determine whether or not there’s any criminal culpability in this case or whether this was merely just a simple tragedy that someone left a moving vehicle and sustained some fatal injuries from that,” Berea Police Lt. Adam Hawley said.
In a video statement on Facebook, later in the day, Hawley said the driver had been released pending further investigation.
Police were not releasing the identities of the victim or driver, pending further investigation.For now, no further action is being taken by police until more evidence is gathered, Hawley said. Once an autopsy is complete and more information is known, then authorities can get a "real holistic picture of what happened out there," he said.
"And that may take some time," he said.
Authorities were also trying to determine the relationships between all of the passengers and the driver.It was unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved.
Mendoza sustained major head injuries and was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange County where she later died.
Dezirae Mendoza leaves behind a four-year-old and a nine-month-old. Her family has opened a GoFundMe account to help with her burial expenses.