Car belonging to missing Mariposa County woman recovered after it crashed in Merced River

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Members of Search and Rescue braved the cold, fast-moving currents of the Merced River for the third consecutive day Tuesday as they tried to locate the body of Jennifer Victoriano-Manzanares.

Underwater cameras were used to try and find the 26-year-old's vehicle after law enforcement says she skidded off Highway 140 near the Mariposa County town of El Portal late Saturday on her way home from work.

"We did locate tire marks which are consistent with her size of vehicle going across the pavement and crashing into the Merced River," said Mariposa County Sheriff Dough Binnewies.

Jennifer's longtime boyfriend says he knew something was wrong the moment the hotel supervisor didn't return home from her normal shift Saturday night.

He says Jennifer only learned to drive seven months ago.

When she leaves work, she would always call me from the road so I wouldn't worry," said Jose Rafael. "That night before the crash she called to tell me how her day went."

The couple moved to Mariposa County three years ago from Mexico and were set to celebrate their son's third birthday this week

"My son is asking for his mom and I don't know what to tell him," Rafael said. "I just want to start crying."

The search to find Jennifer and her Mitsubishi was made even more difficult due to the river's low visibility and rugged terrain.

Tuesday evening, the Mariposa County Sheriff's office said they have recovered a car and the body of a woman believed to be Jennifer Victoriano-Manzanares from the Merced River.
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