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A 15-year-old Petaluma girl who went missing last week was found near Fresno on Monday, police said today. Rubi Cruz-Mendoza, a student at Casa Grande High School, had last been seen around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday getting into a car with her godfather, 29-year-old Hilario Matus-Carmona, at Park Lane and McGregor Avenue in Petaluma. Police launched a search for Cruz-Mendoza and said they considered the case a possible abduction.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Univision television station in Fresno contacted Petaluma police after receiving a tip that Cruz-Mendoza was at a home in the city of Selma, police said. Petaluma police contacted authorities in Selma, who went to the home and found both Cruz-Mendoza and Matus-Carmona. Petaluma investigators were in the area and also responded to the home, police said. Matus-Carmona was taken into custody.
Police said they plan to release more details about the case later today. At the time of the possible abduction, Cruz-Mendoza was with a friend who tried to prevent her godfather from speaking with her, but Matus-Carmona allegedly shoved the younger man to the ground before leaving with her in a two-door compact car driven by a second man, police said. Cruz-Mendoza’s disappearance came after her family confronted her about a suspected sexual relationship with Matus Carmona, according to police.
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