This is a nasty one. Eileen Ponce-Orta, 22, had been missing for four days. Pomona police found her van illegally parked in a lot near their station and called the family to pick it up, telling them that there was no sign of foul play and no blood. Her family came to pick the van up and found her body in the back. That's not something that you're going to forget any time soon.
Pomona police are saying they did nothing wrong, because they called Covina police (where, apparently, the missing person report had been filed) and were told to release it. They also said they had no authority to go into the van. That strikes me as strange. If they knew that the van's owner was reported missing, why would they tell the family there was no sign of foul play and no blood without actually inspecting the inside of the van? Why the hell would Covina PD tell Pomona PD to release the van without inspecting it? The "authority to search" issue is bogus — they don't need a warrant to search a van, and given that she was missing for four days, most likely had probable cause to search it.
Sounds like a major screw-up someplace in the chain.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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