The keen eye of a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy may have led to a break in the search for a missing couple in Sequoia National Park.
Yinan Wang, 31, and his wife Jie Song, 30, were last seen about 2 p.m. Aug. 6 at the junction of Crystal Cave Road and the Generals Highway. They were scheduled to stay a night in Fresno before going to Yosemite and then back home to San Diego on Aug. 9.
The deputy was watching local television coverage Aug. 8 of the attempted recovery of a red car in the Kings River off Highway 180 near Convict Flat that was driven by two Thai college students. In the video, the deputy saw a California license plate in the brush that read 6XMM431. The deputy knew the plate didn’t belong to the Thai students’ rental car, and a records check showed it belonged to a 2012 Ford Focus.
Wang and Song were last seen driving a 2012 white Ford Focus with the same license plate.
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On Saturday, the sheriff’s office and California Highway Patrol both flew helicopters above the canyon where the red car remains in the river to see if there were any signs of a white car. They found some vehicle parts in the river about 40 yards upstream from the red car, but at this point deputies are unable to determine if the parts belong to the white Ford Focus.
No bodies have been found.
Deputies are now working a parallel investigation involving the Ford Focus as they continue efforts to develop a plan to recover the red car belonging to the Thai students.
National Parks Service rangers will also continue to search for Wang and Song.
Anyone with information regarding Wang and Song or their car is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 559-600-3111.