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Mother of Girl Starts Her Own Search

Lost: Altadena woman heads north to where the missing 11-year-old's father was found slain.

June 02, 2002|DAVID PIERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The mother of a missing Altadena girl headed to a town 100 miles north of Sacramento on Saturday, handing out fliers along the way in hopes of finding her 11-year-old daughter, a family member said.

Kim Almodovar's trip comes two days after Butte County sheriff's deputies called off a search for her daughter, Jeanene Bonner.

The girl was last seen with her father, Joaquin "Jack" Garcia, on May 21.

Police said he and the girl were in Las Vegas before the 35-year-old Garcia was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday in his pickup, parked along a quiet wooded road near Butte Meadows.

Though there's a chance that Jeanene was not with Garcia at the time of his death, authorities searched in a five-mile radius around the pickup the day after the grim discovery.

"We didn't see any clue that she was there," said Sgt. Andy Duch of the Butte County Sheriff's Department. "There was no evidence that anybody was removed."

Duch said there was a considerable amount of blood inside the vehicle and that pending lab results will determine if it was all Garcia's.

Erma Bonner, Almodovar's mother, said her daughter was handing out fliers containing Jeanene's picture along the route that authorities believe Garcia took.

"She's holding up as best she can," Bonner said of her daughter. Garcia's brother, Jimmy Garcia, said he was given fliers by Almodovar and will hand them out in the Downey area, where his brother lived.

"Jack always said that Jeanene was his life," he said. "He lived for her."

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