Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives arrested 25-year-old Teris Vinson on Monday in the shooting death of Janet Mejia.
Mejia, 28, was found dead Wednesday in Placer County after being reported missing two days earlier. Mejia lived with a couple – Vinson and a woman – according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull.
When detectives interviewed Vinson after Mejia’s disappearance, they discovered he owned firearms, which is illegal because Vinson is a convicted felon, Turnbull said. He was arrested on weapons charges Thursday and has remained in custody, the department said.
Mejia was reported missing by her female roommate on April 11. Homicide detectives later learned she left her family’s home in Stockton the morning of April 10 and hadn’t reported for work that afternoon.
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Friends and family took to the streets in Sacramento distributing fliers about her disappearance with photos of her and her car. Detectives found the car abandoned in Arden Arcade on April 12. The next day, they discovered her body just off the roadway near Watt Avenue and Dyer Lane in Placer County, the release said.
Mejia had a 2016 degree from California State University, Sacramento in American Sign Language and deaf studies. She was working at Nordstrom in Roseville while looking for a job in her major field, according to Elvia Gutierrez, a friend who grew up with her in Stockton.
Gutierrez told The Bee that Mejia became interested in ASL because she has a nephew who is deaf.
“She was just one of the best people,” Gutierrez said. “She had ambitions and dreams, and she wanted to help others. We have to live that legacy for her.”
Gutierrez said Mejia kept in daily contact with her family. The family began a GoFundMe page to raise money for a reward for information on Mejia’s location. It was turned into a memorial fund with proceeds going toward her burial costs.
Vinson pleaded no contest to felony domestic violence in 2012 and again in 2013, when he was sentenced to two years in state prison, according to court records. In July 2012, Elk Grove News reported Vinson was arrested for domestic violence after causing visible injuries by grabbing his victim around the neck and throwing the victim onto a bed. He allegedly punched and slapped the victim in the face and refused to let the victim leave the bedroom or call the police.