SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — The suspicious death of a 17-year-old Simi Valley girl found dead in Central California may be linked to a meth binge, authorities said Thursday.
The body of Tara Shannon Maguire was found late Monday night submerged in a stream near a campground in the Sierra National Forest, the Madera County Sheriff’s Department said.
Shortly after noon Monday, local authorities received a call from a stranded motorist saying he had run out of gas and his party was without food and water.
Search and rescue volunteers later located 20-year old Scott Jacob Mason of Simi Valley and Jacob Patrick Banaga, 18, of Visalia, and learned that a girl traveling with the pair had vanished a day earlier.
The body of the girl, identified as Maguire, was found around 10:30 p.m.
“Detectives questioned Mason and Banaga, who both admit to smoking methamphetamine regularly,” MCSD spokeswoman Erica Stuart said . “Mason claims to use it daily, and Banaga, every other week. Both were reportedly on a multi-day Meth binge before Tara died.”
The events leading up to her alleged disappearance and death remain under investigation.
An autopsy was scheduled for this week.
Banaga and Mason are being held on $10,000 bail at the Madera County Department of Corrections on suspicion of felony willful cruelty to a child.
No additional details were released.