Family of Auberry woman found dead express disappointment over how law enforcement investigated

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The family and friends of the woman found dead in Auberry over the weekend made their voices heard at a rally in downtown Fresno on Monday.

They were holding signs for Bessie Walker, 27, missing on the 8th. Her body was found on Saturday by a search team made up of friends and family.

“She had a beautiful smile. She had a big laugh. She was amazing and she was ours, ”said Rayetta Lara, Walker’s sister.

“She is the mother of three children. How am I going to tell them she’s gone? Ruthie Beecher, Walker’s mother said.

Walker’s family said they want authorities to use more resources to find her sooner.

Relatives gathered outside the sheriff’s office to protest, expressing disappointment at the investigation and hoping to shine a light on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Movement, or MMIW.

“We wanted the sheriff’s department to look for her at least, at least a day or two, a helicopter, a K-9, volunteers, collect them.” The community was doing what we could, but we needed more eyes, more ears, ”said Paul Beecher, Walker’s cousin.

Walker was last seen on the 4th and was reported missing on the 8th.

Sheriff Margaret Mims said two investigators were dedicated to the case full time and had worked nearly 1,000 hours.

Mims said Auberry was not a priority because the information they received from family, friends and informants revolved around the sightings in Fresno.

“We went to these places, and we knocked on doors, and we interviewed people and we looked for videos. So whenever we got information about a specific place where it could be found, that’s where we went, ”she said.

Mims has said they will not remove investigators from the case and insists it will not be closed until there are answers.

“We still think there is someone in this community in our area who has information about what happened with her,” she said.

Walker’s cause of death was deemed inconclusive. The sheriff’s office is now awaiting toxicological results which could take 2-3 weeks.


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