After his mother went missing three years ago, Juan Bravo joined the Sheriff’s Explorer Program to pursue a career in law enforcement
VISALIA – Suffering the loss of a loved one can be traumatic for teenagers. Suffering the loss of a loved one at the hands of a family member is horrific and could either leave a teen broken without the motivation to move on or help them find unbreakable determination to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else.
Juan Bravo decided he would rather save victims than become one.
On June 4, Juan graduated from Visalia Charter Independent Study almost exactly three years from the day his mother went missing on June 9, 2016. Since that time, authorities believe his mother was probably murdered, but her body was never found.
Despite the traumatic loss Juan and his family have suffered, he persevered and joined the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Program and plans to pursue a career as a TCSO Deputy Sheriff. In attendance at his graduation was Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, who spent time with Juan after he received his diploma.
Two and a half years ago, Sheriff Boudreaux held a press conference to announce the arrest of Francisco Yanes Valdivia, 37, and Rosalina Lopez, 39, both of the Visalia area for the murder of Juan’s mother, Cecilia Bravo Cabrera. The 30-year-old Farmersville woman who had been missing for six months when the arrests were made but her body was never found.
Cabrera was last seen leaving the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore just after midnight on June 9, 2016 in a dark gray 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Later that same day, the California Highway Patrol and Tulare County Fire Department located her gray Malibu abandoned and on fire near Traver. The CHP went to Cecilia’s residence and were advised that she had gone out with her husband, Francisco Valdivia, in her vehicle the previous evening and had not returned home. Her family filed a missing person’s report at that time.
It was quickly determined to be a suspicious missing person’s case because her car was set on fire in an orchard and because her four children have not heard from her at all. Also, Cecilia had been very active on social media which stopped on the day she went missing.
Valdivia, who is married to both Lopez and Cabrera, had made threats against Cabrera’s life in the past. At the time of the arrest, Lopez was living with Valdivia in the Visalia area but were originally married in Mexico. The District Attorney’s Office formally charged Validivia with murder and one count of arson and Lopez with one count of being an accessory after the fact. Each count is a felony.
Valdivia and Lopez were arraigned at the Tulare County Pretrial Facility on Dec. 14. No bail was set for Valdivia and bail for Lopez was set at $500,000.