Following a preliminary hearing last month, charges against Jacob Patrick Baraga, 18, of Visalia were dismissed. However, Scott Jacob Mason, 20, of Simi Valley was held to answer and will have an arraignment on information hearing Feb. 14, at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Dale Blea at the Superior Court of Madera County.
The two men were arrested last December in connection with the death of 17-year-old Simi Valley teen, Tara Shannon Maguire. Both Baraga and Mason were charged with felony child cruelty.
According to a statement released by the Madera County Sheriff's Office, the pair had taken a trip with Maguire earlier in the week near Rock Creek before running out of gas and stranding themselves without food or water.
Shortly after noon on Monday, Dec. 16, Search and Rescue teams received a distress call from a "stranded motorist" claiming to be out of gas, water and food.
Within a few hours, at approximately 4:30 p.m., deputies located the two men who seemed to be cold and hungry. Deputies were then notified that Maguire, another member of their party, hadn't been seen since the day before. Both men admitted to regularly using methamphetamines, were on a multiple-day "meth binge" prior to Maguire's disappearance, and reported that they had tried to find Maguire, who they said had wandered off, but could not.
A search and rescue team was able to locate Maguire's body which was located in a stream near Rock Creek Campground.
Rock Creek Campground is located close to Mammoth Pool Reservoir near the Ansel Adams Wilderness, roughly an hour north of North Fork, and with an elevation of roughly 5,000 feet. Depending on road conditions, travel time can be as much as two hours.