The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI combed through a rural area near the Sacramento River on Tuesday for the bodies of two teenagers who went missing in 2016 but did not find any evidence, said Sgt. Matthew Davis, a Yolo County sheriff’s spokesman.
Authorities began their search Monday, the same day the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office charged three men with murder in connection to the missing persons case. Davis said Tuesday that authorities concluded their search at the location near Knights Landing after two days, but their investigation remains active.
“We’re doing everything we can to locate the bodies of these missing teens,” Davis said. “We’re hopeful we find something (and) we'll be able to speak to all the details moving forward.”
Yolo County authorities have been looking for Elijah Moore and Enrique Rios since they went missing within a few weeks of each other in late 2016. The most recent search focused on an area east of Knights Landing along the Sacramento River, Davis said.
Rios’ mother last saw her son on Oct. 17. 2016. She received a text message from his phone that said he was under too much pressure and was going away. He was 16 at the time.
Moore, who was his friend, was last seen on Nov. 4 of that year. The two were former students at Cesar Chavez Community School in Woodland and participated in an afternoon construction program.
Security footage at Woodland’s California Check Cashing filmed him entering the business, speaking with a cashier and leaving with a paper in his hand. A text from his phone to a friend two days later said he was going to the Bay Area. He was 17.
The text messages contradict the charges filed by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office on Monday, which name Jesus Campos, 18, Chandale Shannon, 21, of Winters, and brothers David Froste, 27, and Jonathan Froste, 21, as defendants in the case. The arraignments for Shannon and Jonathan Froste were postponed until June 22, when David Froste is scheduled to be arraigned.
Each is accused of at least one count of murder. Their lawyers said they have no plea at this time.
Commissioner Kent O’Mara said the men would remain in custody without bail. The elder Froste and Shannon were allegedly armed with a firearm and killed Rios on Oct. 17, 2016, according to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
Shannon was arrested Friday while Froste was already in custody in state prison for an unrelated case.
The younger Froste was accused of knowing about the killing a day later but failing to alert authorities. He was arrested on Saturday, according to the Yolo County Sheriff's Office.
The brothers were named again in connection to what prosecutors allege was the kidnapping of Moore on Nov. 4, 2016, saying they took him to a location in Yolo County. The siblings and Shannon then killed Moore later that day, the charging document alleges.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office filed a separate case in juvenile court, naming Campos as a participant in the alleged killings of both teens and the kidnapping of Moore. Campos was a minor when Rios and Moore went missing. He was arrested on Friday.
Prosecutors hope he will be tried as an adult, according to documents filed Monday.
The Woodland Police Department, along with the Yolo County Sheriff's Office and FBI, are investigating the case.
The Bee's Kellen Browning contributed to this report.