Two men were arrested on suspicion of child cruelty after authorities found the body of a 17-year-old Simi Valley girl in a stream in the Sierra National Forest.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office said search-and-rescue crews found the body of Tara Shannon Maguire, of Simi Valley, late Monday near the Rock Creek Campground.
Deputies said the girl’s two companions, Scott Jacob Mason, 20, of Simi Valley, and Jacob Patrick Banaga, 18, of Visalia, were facing felony charges after their arrests early Tuesday.
The pair were arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child and booked into the Madera County Jail about 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Searchers said they found the Maguire’s body late Monday submerged in a stream near Rock Creek Campground in the Sierra National Forest.
Deputies learned of the case after getting a call shortly after noon Monday from someone who had run out of gas over the weekend. The person told deputies his party had no food or water.
Searchers found Banaga and Mason about 4:30 p.m. They discovered that Maguire had been traveling with Banaga and Mason and had vanished 24 hours earlier.
Searchers found Maguire’s body about 10:30 p.m. Monday but had to wait to recover her body until daybreak Tuesday because the area is steep with rugged terrain.
Authorities say both men acknowledged being on a multiday methamphetamine binge, and search crews quickly found Maguire’s body in a nearby creek.
Investigators are determining how she died.