“We want our daughter home,” Norma Nunez told Dateline. “We’re out here searching for Jolissa right now.”
Norma’s daughter, 22-year-old Jolissa Fuentes, was last seen in Selma, California on August 7, 2022.
Jolissa was born and raised in Selma with her four siblings. “Jolissa is number two,” Norma said. She has three younger brothers and an older sister.
Growing up in Selma meant growing up in the great outdoors -- and Jolissa loved every moment of it. “She liked the country,” her father, Joey Fuentes, told Dateline. “She liked coming here to the lakes and watching the scenery.”
The couple told Dateline that their daughter is “hardworking” and “bubbly” but more than anything, “family oriented.”
“She likes being with her family,” Norma told Dateline. “She likes family gatherings.”
On the night of August 6, into the early morning of August 7, Jolissa attended the family gathering of a close friend. Norma told Dateline that after leaving the party in Selma, Jolissa headed home to her grandmother’s house, where both she and her brother Joey live, about a minute away from the gathering.
Norma said when Jolissa arrived at her grandmother’s house and saw her brother wasn’t home, she gave him a call. It was around 3:30 a.m. “She was like, ‘Where you at?’” Norma recalled her son telling her. Norma said that after Joey told Jolissa he was in Fresno she said, “‘OK, I’m going to run to the store right quick, I’ll be back.’”
But Jolissa never made it back.
Norma said Jolissa was captured on security footage not long after that phone call with her brother. “She went to the store — to the AM/PM, and then she attempted a call with her sister at 5:24 a.m.,” Norma said. But Jolissa’s sister didn’t pick up.
When Norma tried to call her daughter later that morning, she got her voicemail. Norma told Dateline she knew immediately something was wrong. “She didn’t pick up her phone,” Norma said. “Jolissa didn’t answer her grandmother, she didn’t call back her brother or sister.” Norma added that Jolissa “had work the next day and she never misses work.”
Jolissa missed work the next day.
Norma said the family “didn’t even wait 24 hours” to report Jolissa missing. “We called the police around 7:00 p.m.,” on the evening of August 7, 2022.
The Selma Police Department is investigating Jolissa’s disappearance. On August 22, they held a press conference regarding the case. Chief Rudy Alcaraz confirmed that Jolissa visited the Arco AM/PM at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 7 on Highland and Nebraska Avenues. He said that Jolissa was captured on security footage “purchasing some items and then getting into her vehicle and leaving Westbound on Nebraska Avenue.” He noted that she “appeared to be by herself.” Jolissa was driving her 2011 silver Hyundai with plate #8MPU766.
“We don’t know where she was heading,” Jolissa’s mother, Norma, told Dateline. “She just jumped in the car and took off that way.”
Chief Alcaraz said that on Monday, August 8, investigators “were able to get an emergency ping on her cell phone.” Later that morning, however, “the phone did not continue to ping.”
Alcaraz said in the press conference that investigators, along with family, have been searching the Floral and Nebraska avenue areas in Selma and in Fowler, a city just outside of Selma. He said drones have also been in use but despite their efforts, they “have not been able to get any positive results on the location of Ms. Fuentes.”
Alcaraz said on Thursday, August 11, the phone company revealed the results of the pings. It led investigators to “the Pine Flat and Avocado Lake area,” about 30 minutes away from the gas station where Jolissa was last seen. He said the Selma County Police Department has teamed up with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office to search that area. He added that the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office had already conducted helicopter and ground searches of the area.
Team member Doug Bishop told KSEE that it is a “process of elimination” and they were able to “rule out Avocado Lake.”
According to KSEE, the dive team’s search efforts continued into the Pine Flat Lake and Winton Park areas.
Jolissa’s mother, Norma, told Dateline that the dive team has now left. “They were here and they searched these waters,” Norma said. “Nothing turned up.”
At the August 22 press conference, Chief Alcaraz noted there has been no digital trace of Jolissa and that it is extremely rare for a 22-year-old girl to lack a digital footprint.
“There is nothing overtly that leads us to believe that a criminal act has occurred,” Alcaraz said, however his office is “treating it as a criminal manner.”
When Dateline spoke with Chief Alcaraz on Monday, August 29, he advised that “not much has changed,” but authorities will continue to “follow up on all leads as they come.”
Alcaraz also spoke with NBC News on Monday and mentioned that “while most of the physical search” has been in Fresno County, authorities have received tips “all the way from New Mexico.”
Norma told Dateline her daughter would “never, ever” just go missing. “We knew that very day something was wrong,” she said. And the family has been searching for Jolissa ever since. “We’re going through orchards, we’re going through dirt roads, we’re driving up and down the streets,” she said.
The family is looking into hiring a private investigator to help on the case. Norma said they’ve also started the “Find Jolissa Fuentes” Facebook page dedicated to spreading awareness about Jolissa’s disappearance and looking for the public’s help.
“Keep posting, keep sharing, keep doing everything to keep her name out there,” Norma pleaded. “Everybody continue to pray for my daughter’s safe return.”
The family is offering a $15,000 reward for any information that leads to Jolissa’s whereabouts.
Jolissa is 5’3”, about 180 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white Nike tank top, grey shorts and black Nike slides. She also had a black Michael Kor’s backpack purse with her. Jolissa’s 2011 silver Hyundai with license plate #8MPU766 is also missing.
Anyone with information regarding Jolissa Fuentes is asked to call the Selma Police Department at 559-896-2525.