San Joaquin County family still holding out hope for missing brother nearly 40 years later

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- A Stockton teen was last seen walking to a friend’s house almost 40 years ago, but his family has never given up hope that one day he will come home.

Since 1981, Jose “Che” Dominguez has remained in pictures. Some in black and white, but always with a strong sense of love surrounding his memory.

“If he’s gone, I don’t think he missed out on anything, I’m sure he saw it all,” Corina Garcia, Dominguez’s sister, told FOX40. “I feel like he’s with me all the time.”

Garcia said since the day her 16-year-old brother was last seen, all she and her family have ever known are rumors.

“I don’t have proof, I don’t know for sure, and all I can go on is what we’ve heard,” she said.

Garcia said in August of 1981, her brother left her childhood home — never to be seen again.

“Was not his demeanor, wasn’t his person. He was never like that without calling my mother and telling my mother, ‘Hey, this is where I’m at. This is what I’m doing,’” Garcia said.

Then, in 1989, arrests were made. The two friends Dominguez was on his way to meet that August day were charged with murder.

“I believe he met with foul play,” Garcia said.

But without a body, Garcia recalls the judge saying prosecutors did not have enough evidence to proceed.

“So, she wanted it open on them for when he was found,” she said.

Now, the family has created a new Facebook page with the hope of finding more information.

For as long as she’s hoped that she would find her brother, Garcia said she has also known grief.

“To put him to rest, you know,” Garcia said. “Let him have peace.”

If you have any information about this case, please contact the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.

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