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Crews recover L.A. couple’s car that went off Hwy. 1 cliff

Crews haul L.A. couple's car up Hwy. 1 cliff

Here are scenes from Thursday's efforts to recover a car, belonging to a missing North Hollywood couple, that went over a cliff along Highway 1 near Ragged Point. The wrecked car was wedged between rocks on the coastline. As of Thursday, January 5
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Here are scenes from Thursday's efforts to recover a car, belonging to a missing North Hollywood couple, that went over a cliff along Highway 1 near Ragged Point. The wrecked car was wedged between rocks on the coastline. As of Thursday, January 5

Crews spent all day Thursday on the side of a cliff near Ragged Point recovering a wrecked car belonging to a North Hollywood couple.

The mangled tan sedan, which was wedged between rocks on the coastline, was discovered Tuesday afternoon off Highway 1, along with the bodies of Olivia Hannah Gonzalez, 20, and a light-brown Labrador retriever mix. Crews have not located 21-year-old Brian Fernandez, with whom Gonzalez was traveling. The couple was last seen Dec. 23 while on a Christmas week trip to Big Sur.

On Thursday, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said the body of a second dog also was found at the scene. The couple was traveling with Fernandez’s two dogs.

Recovery efforts since Tuesday had been slowed by difficult terrain and rain, authorities said. But with a break in the weather, crews arrived at 8 a.m. Thursday to haul the wreckage up the cliff, and by evening, the 2002 four-door Honda Civic had been taken to the Sheriff’s Office, where investigators will examine it for evidence.

A sheriff’s dive crew, along with search-and-rescue crews, also continued to search the vicinity Thursday for any sign of Fernandez, and that search is expected to continue Friday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Gonzalez and Fernandez were reported missing by family members after they became alarmed when the couple failed to return from their trip to Big Sur.

Vanessa Guzman, Gonzalez’s sister, set up a GoFundMe page Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, Guzman wrote that the money will be used “to give my sister a nice place to rest.” As of 7:45 p.m. Thursday, more than $7,000 had been raised.

Results of an autopsy performed Wednesday on Gonzalez are pending.

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office confirmed that the woman's body found near the tan sedan that went over the side of Highway 1 near Ragged Point was that of Olivia Hannah Gonzalez, 20, of North Hollywood. The sedan was found Tuesday afternoon.

Staff writer Mark Powell contributed to this report.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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