SYLMAR (CBSLA.com) — Police Friday sought the public’s help in locating a “person of interest” in connection with the death of a woman on the 210 Freeway.
The incident happened on the eastbound lanes of the thoroughfare about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
Police identified the woman as 22-year-old Josie Jimenez. Authorities say Jimenez was riding in the passenger side of her red Toyota Corolla when she inexplicably tumbled out onto the freeway.
“The door opened, the girl rolled out, the car kept going,” one witness, identified only as Marie, told CBS2’s Joy Benedict.
Marie said the driver of her vehicle jerked the car to the right in an attempt to avoid hitting the woman, who clipped the mirror of her car.
Police suspect that the man driving the victim’s red Toyota Corolla was Josie’s boyfriend, Rick Jimenez, who has been named a “person of interest” in her death. Prior to the incident, the pair spent the evening at a Sylmar tattoo parlor where witnesses say he was emotionally berating the young woman, according to police.
Authorities also said they’ve eliminated Josie’s legal but estranged husband from any involvement and believe Josie and Rick were “carrying on a very public affair,” according to a police statement.
“Rick knows we want to talk to him over what happened,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. “His avoidance raises a lot of questions for us.”
Rick Jimenez stands at 5-feet, 10-inches tall and has several tattoos, including “HUSTLER” on his neck and “WEST COAST” on his right forearm.
Police suspect that Rick abandoned the red vehicle with license 6NED426, and believe he may be driving a black, 2-door Honda Civic with chromed rims and license, 6RJG807.
“Whether she got out on her own not understanding she was on the freeway or whether somebody pushed her out or whether somebody even allowed her to get out of the car, I want that person to understand that they’ve done something wrong and I want them to come forward,” the witness said.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Detective Gretchen Schultz, Mission Homicide Unit, at (818) 838-9951.