Police on Friday are looking to question the driver of a red sedan after a 22-year-old woman was ejected from the car to her death on a freeway in Sylmar.
Ricardo “Rick” Jimenez, 26, is believed to have been behind the wheel when Maria Jimenez, who goes by Josie, inexplicably was ejected from the passenger seat and onto the 210 Freeway early Thursday.
After the car nearly slammed into the center divider, its passenger door flung open and the 22-year-old fell out, landing on the busy freeway, witnesses said. She was killed by oncoming traffic.
Though they share a last name, the pair is not related, but had been “carrying on a very public affair,” police said. They had gotten into a public fight at a tattoo parlor before the incident.
"We have multiple sources who have come forward, putting Rick and Josie (her preferred name) at a local tattoo parlor before midnight, with Rick causing a disturbance and berating Josie in front of others," said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. "We know Rick was driving Josie’s red Toyota Corolla when the two left the parlor."
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Vernon said Rick Jimenez “knows” police are looking to question him in Josie’s death, but did not explain further.
“His avoidance raises a lot of questions for us,” Vernon said.
Rick Jimenez is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, with several tattoos, including the words “Hustler” inked on his neck and “West Coast” on his right forearm.
A resident of North Hollywood, Jimenez may be driving a black, two-door Honda Civic with chrome rims and California license plate 6RJG807.
Josie Jimenez, who lives in the Westlake area, was identified by family members through her tattoos.
Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Gretchen Schultz, Mission Homicide Unit, at 818-838-9951. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cellphone.