Detectives find body of missing Oxnard woman in Santa Barbara County, ex-husband confesses to murder

missing person.PNG
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 19:35:38-04

Oxnard Police say the body of a missing woman within the city was found in Santa Barbara County.

According to police, Eudelia Gonzalez Rojas, 46, was last seen on July 10 at around 8:30 p.m. when family members say they saw her get into a vehicle with an unknown person and drive away. The family told police that Rojas did not return that night and they became concerned when she was not answering their phone calls so they reported her missing.

Further investigation by detectives led to evidence that they say upgraded the case to suspicious circumstances instead of voluntary missing.

Detectives say that on July 15 they served a search warrant at Rojas ex-husband Josefino Cayetano Maldonado's home in Salinas. Maldonado was interviewed by detectives and confessed to killing his ex-wife in Ventura County but disposed of her body in Santa Barbara County. Maldonado told police that he did not kill Rojas in the city of Oxnard but provided them the location of the unincorporated area where it happened.

Detectives located Rojas' body down an embankment in the area of Highway 101, north of the Gaviota Tunnel in Santa Barbara County. Detectives requested the assistance of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team to recover the body.

Maldonado was booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility for Rojas' murder at a bail amount of $500,000.

The investigation is ongoing. The City of Oxnard offers a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals responsible for committing homicides within the City.