Crime - Sacto 911

Sheriff: Missing Foothill Farms woman found shot to death in Placer County

Janet Mejia, a 28-year-old missing from Foothill Farms, was found shot to death in Placer County on Thursday night.
Janet Mejia, a 28-year-old missing from Foothill Farms, was found shot to death in Placer County on Thursday night. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department

A missing Foothill Farms woman and Sacramento State alumna has been found dead in south Placer County.

The body of a woman, later identified as 28-year-old Janet Mejia, was found about 7 p.m. Thursday by homicide investigators just off the roadway in the area of Watt Avenue and Dyer Lane, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department news release.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy and positively identified the woman as Mejia. The autopsy showed Mejia had suffered a gunshot wound and was the victim of a homicide.

The Sheriff’s Department said homicide detectives do not believe it was a random killing. A person of interest is in custody on unrelated charges pending forensic testing, the news release said.

Mejia, a 2016 graduate of California State University, Sacramento, was reported missing by her roommate Tuesday night. The roommate told sheriff’s officials that Mejia was last seen about 9 a.m. that day when she left her residence in the 7200 block of Pepperwood Knoll Lane in the Foothill Farms area.

Elvia Gutierrez, a friend who grew up with Mejia in Stockton, said detectives met with Mejia’s family late Friday afternoon. Gutierrez said they provided few details about Mejia’s death or the investigation but told the family they hoped to provide more information Saturday.

Gutierrez said she and four other friends had been in the Sacramento area since Wednesday evening distributing fliers about Mejia’s disappearance.

Mejia had a degree from CSUS in American Sign Language and deaf studies. She was working at Nordstrom in Roseville while looking for a job in her major field.

“She was just one of the best people,” Gutierrez said of Mejia. “She had ambitions and dreams, and she wanted to help others. We have to live that legacy for her.”

Detectives initially were told that Mejia had a doctor’s appointment in Stockton on Tuesday and never arrived. They later learned that she left her family’s Stockton residence Monday morning. She was driving back to Sacramento and was scheduled to work at 4 p.m. in Roseville, the sheriff’s news release said. She did not show up for work.

Wednesday afternoon, deputies located Mejia’s abandoned vehicle in the Arden Arcade area. Gutierrez said phone calls to Mejia went to voicemail and text messages weren’t answered. She said that was out of character for Mejia, who kept in daily contact with her family.

Detectives ask anyone with information pertaining to the case to call the Sheriff’s Department at 916-874-5115 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at 916-443-4357. Tip information may also be left anonymously on the Sheriff’s Department’s website, www.sacsheriff.com, or by calling 916-874-8477.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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