Who Is Aranda Briones? New Details About The Missing California Teen And The Two Brothers Who Were Arrested For Her Murder

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Who Is Aranda Briones? New Details About The Missing California Teen And The Two Brothers Who Were Arrested For Her Murder

On Jan. 13, Aranda Briones went out for the evening with friends. She was never seen again.

After a month of searching and pleas to the public for help in finding her, two men have been arrested for the murder of the Los Angeles area teen. While nobody has been found so far, police are treating the case as a homicide. Her family and the surrounding community are struggling to understand what happened to the 16-year-old high school student who vanished last month.

So who was Aranda Briones and what happened to her? Read on for all the shocking details.

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1. She's a teenage girl. 

Aranda was a 16-year-old high school junior with a bright future ahead of her. Her family said in an early interview that she was on schedule to graduate after only three years of high school.

Her aunt said of her, “She was bright and in the gifted program in school.” In addition, she held a job at a local mall and was up for a promotion to a leadership position. Aranda's family had hopes that she might join the military in the future saying.

“My husband is retired from the Navy and is a disabled Veteran. We had hoped that one day Aranda might join the service, too.”

2. She grew up with her extended family.

Aranda grew up with her grandparents as her main caregivers. Her aunt told reporters that Aranda’s biological parents lost their parental rights when Aranda was young, and her grandparents stepped in to foster — and then later adopt — her and her three siblings. She had since regained contact with both of her parents, though her mother has significant health issues now.

Her father Chapo Lee told reporters,”I just barely got her back into my life, I hadn't seen her since she was 4. I saw her for the first time in November, and it was the happiest moment of my life."

3. She had some bad influences.

Recently, Aranda had been spending time with an 18-year-old named Owen Skyler Shover. The two had a prior friendships, which had been revived in recent month.

Her family, however, was less than enthusiastic about Shover, saying "I think he's a bad influence, in my opinion."

"He used to go to Moreno Valley High School, and they stopped hanging out for, like, a year. She never talked about him and then, all of a sudden, they started hanging out and out of the blue air she disappeared.”

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4. Shover was the last person to see her. 

Shover is reported to have been the last person to have seen Aranda.

He allegedly dropped her off at a local park on Jan. 13, where he says she was supposed to meet friends. He said she got into a grey car and drove away after he dropped her off. A review of the surveillance footage from a camera in the park doesn’t back up Shover’s assertions, however.

5. Many people have been searching for her. 

After Ardana disappeared, police and community members worked together to find the missing teen. Police engaged the help of human trafficking experts and the FBI to try and find her. Meanwhile, her cell phone was turned off and her friends didn’t hear from her directly on social media.

The mother of one friend noted on Facebook that Aranda hadn’t been on SnapChat, where she usually connected with friends often.

“They are in contact constantly. This is totally out of character.”

6. Shover and his brother were arrested. 

After a month of searching, police recently arrested Shover on a charge of murder and his brother, 21-year-old Gary Shover on a conspiracy charge. Allegedly, police searched the house where the brothers live and found evidence that leads them to believe that this is a homicide case.

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"It was like a blanket and a coat, and then they started sitting all these little markers around and digging in other places,” neighbors who witnessed the search said. Both men are being held without bail.

7. A vigil was held in her honor. 

After the arrests, the community gathered to mourn for Aranda. They held a candlelight vigil in her honor.

“Tonight we’re not here to focus on the negative. Here we’re focused on the love that we had for Aranda,” said Tani Penland, who organized the vigil. “She became Moreno Valley’s daughter. She became all of our daughters. So tonight we want to give community awareness. Kids need to be aware of who they are with and who they are hanging out with.”

Police are still trying to locate Aranda’s body, and her family is anguished about their loss. 

“Whoever killed my daughter, they are going to have to meet their maker," her father said. "When you meet God, let’s see if you can stare him in the face.”

If you have any information about Aranda Bione, you can call Investigator David Drexler at the Moreno Valley Police Department at (951)486-6700 or the Riverside County Sheriff's Department after hours dispatch at (951)247-8700. A tip line has also been established where callers can leave anonymous information: (951) 247-8700.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.