Selected by my friend Sean Munger, German Machuca‘s disappearance is, as Sean puts it, “one of the most baffling cases I’ve ever seen on the site. In the top 5.” Given that Mr. Machuca’s circumstances of disappearance section on Charley is only four sentences long, that’s a pretty impressive claim. But Sean may be right.
German Machuca, a smallish Hispanic teenager, only 5’7 tall and of average build, vanished without a trace from Laredo, Texas on March 31, 1990. He was washing his car, and then he was gone. Just like that. Leaving the soap bucket, leaving the water running, for crying out loud.
And that’s all, folks, all I can find on him. No articles, nothing. I haven’t updated his case even once since I started Charley in 2004.
Who walks away while in the middle of washing their car? If something or somebody had distracted him — perhaps someone calling his name — why didn’t he at least turn the hose/faucet off before he went to investigate? Other questions arise: was German wearing rubber gloves or other waterproof gear like galoshes or a rain poncho when he was washing his car? If so, did they find those things? Was the soap bucket found sitting upright, or was it tipped over, spilled, as if in a struggle? Did anyone see anything? Hear anything?
I only know that German Machuca, eighteen and a half years old, chose some very unusual circumstances in which to go missing. It’s almost enough to make a person believe in alien abductions. (I think I did have aliens abduct my Sim in the Sims 3 game while he was working on restoring his classic car one night. But that is neither here nor there.)
German must have family and friends out there still waiting, still wondering. I’d love it if one of them contact me, either by email or in the comments section, to shed some light on the strange circumstances of his disappearance.