San Benito County

Hollister Police Chief: Search for Jose Barajas remains #1 priority

Hollister Police Chief takes on rumors

HOLLISTER, Calif. - More than three weeks after 19-year-old Ariana Zendejas was killed, Hollister Police Chief David Westrick said the man believed to have shot her remains at large.

Jose Barajas is suspecting of fatally shooting Zendejas on Aug. 1 as she was riding in a car in the area of West and B streets. He's also suspected of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Flores.

Westrick said Tuesday that police haven't had contact with Flores or Barajas, and he's seeking an increase in the reward money being offered for information leading to Barajas' arrest and Flores' recovery.

Sen. Anthony Cannella and Assembly Luis Alejo say they're requesting more funding from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Westrick says the case reminds the number one priority for the department and he warns anyone who may be helping Barajas evade capture that they could face charges for being an accomplice.

The FBI, Homeland Security, Border Patrol are also involved with the search.

NewsChannel 5 reporter Jake Reiner was in Hollister Tuesday and will have more information on this latest update tonight at 5 p.m.

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