National Hispanic Heritage Month: Nina Herron

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Nina Brenda Herron, who disappeared from Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 14, 2005. She was 21 years old.

Nina is one of MANY women missing from Albuquerque. Eleven victims between the ages of fifteen and thirty-two (and one fetus) were found in a mass grave in the desert on the West Mesa; those murders remain unsolved. Many of other women remain missing, however, and it’s unclear whether their disappearances are tied to the West Mesa murders.

If still alive, Nina would now be 35.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Enrique Garibay Ruiz

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Enrique Garibay Ruiz, a 51-year-old who disappeared from Los Angeles, California on October 5, 2017. Two years ago, less a day.

Garibay Ruiz is originally from Mexico, and he traveled to Hungary for college and decided to stay. He lived there with his wife and two kids and had some pretty prestigious jobs: professor, nuclear physicist, mathematician and writer.

He went to Los Angeles for vacation and disappeared on the day he was supposed to fly back. He called his wife and said he was on standby for his return flight, but that doesn’t make sense to me — surely if that was the case, he would have returned his rental car, and he didn’t. In fact the car has never been found. So Garibay Ruiz was lying? If so, why?

He never made his flight and was never seen again. The last sign of him is on October 6, when his credit card was used at a restaurant.

From what I can see it looks like a voluntary disappearance, but it’s entirely on the cards that there’s a lot more going on here that I’m just unaware of.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Rosio Beltran

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Rosio Monica Beltran, a 26-year-old who disappeared from North Richland Hills, Texas on September 9, 2000.

All indications are Beltran was the victim of a homicide. She met a man, Mario Pietro, at a nightclub and went back to his place, and neighbors heard the sounds of fighting and screaming. Later, Beltran’s blood was found at Pietro’s residence.

Unfortunately, the prime suspect is dead; Pietro stole a car and took off, and two days later, after a confrontation with police, they shot him dead when he pointed a gun at them. It turned out to be a BB gun.

Rosio Beltran was from Peru and was in the US working as an au pair and learning English. She planned to return to Peru and become a teacher, but that never happened.

She would be 45 today.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Valeriano Flores-Mata

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Valeriano Flores-Mata, who was last seen on July 24, 2004, when he was 32 years old.

His disappearance appears to be either an accident or foul play. He was last seen either on or near the fishing vessel Deep Pacific as it was preparing to leave port at St. Paul, Alaska. It wasn’t until several hours later that anyone realized he was missing, by which time the ship was out to sea.

These circumstances would indicate an accident, but it says he’s missing under “suspicious circumstances” which leads me to believe there’s more to the story than this.

If still alive, which seems unlikely Flores-Mata would now be 47 years old.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Meredith Medina

(I had pre-written cases for September 30 and October 1, using the app on my phone. I didn’t realize until very late on October 1 that neither of them went up, and in fact they seem to have vanished. I need to stop using that app to try to write entries; it never seems to work well. I am trying to reconstruct the entries from memory.)

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Meredith Ann Medina, a sixteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Midwest City, Oklahoma on February 14, 1989. She may go by the nickname Mere or her middle name, Ann.

She’s classified as a runaway, and I don’t know anything else about her disappearance. However, it’s worth noting that Meredith’s stepmother, Nancy Jean Medina, also disappeared without a trace in the 1980s, four and a half years before Meredith did.

It could be just a coincidence that there are two women missing from the same family. Certainly I’ve seen numerous cases of multiple people in a family disappearing in completely unrelated instances. It is odd, though.

If still alive, Meredith is now 46 years old, 47 late this month.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Agustin Zeferino

(I had pre-written cases for September 30 and October 1, using the app on my phone. I didn’t realize until very late on October 1 that neither of them went up, and in fact they seem to have vanished. I need to stop using that app to try to write entries; it never seems to work well. I am trying to reconstruct the entries from memory.)

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Agustin Zeferino, who disappeared from Santa Barbara County, California on August 11, 2014. He was a farm worker, probably a migrant.

Zeferino’s case is kind of unusual and scary because he was undergoing treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis at the time of his disappearance, and he was supposed to take medication for up to two years.

Although he was asymptomatic and not contagious at the time of his disappearance, since he disappeared he’s obviously stopped the treatments and he would have become contagious again and started developing symptoms again. As Zeferino’s disease is a threat to public health, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Without treatment, about there’s about a 50-50 chance that tuberculosis will kill you, unless you’re HIV positive that is, in which case it’s extremely lethal. The illness kills slowly; untreated, about one-third of patients die within two years and another third within five years. The person is ambulatory for most of that time — I think Edgar Allen Poe’s wife went dancing the same night her TB finally killed her — and spreading it everywhere they go.

I really really hope Zeferino is okay and just moved on, and that he has resumed his treatments wherever he is now, perhaps in another country. Because if he didn’t resume his treatment, he’s probably dead now, and he’s probably made other people sick.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Tymayrra Ayala

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Tymayrra Patricia Marie Ayala, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on August 28, 2017, at the age of fifteen.

She is classified as a runaway. Her Facebook page was active until at least February 2018, several months after her disappearance, though I can only see the profile photos. It looks like she has an arrest record, as several of the available pics of her appear to be mug shots.

Tymayrra is 18 now. I hope she gets in touch with her family, or at least the authorities, soon.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Manuel Camacho

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Manuel Alberto Camacho, a 25-year-old man who disappeared from Bakersfield, California on April 9, 2010.

I don’t have any information on his disappearance, unfortunately, but he does have some distinctive tattoos, including a pretty large design on the crown of his head, and large script writing of some kind on the side of his neck. Wish I could read the writing.

If still alive, Camacho is be 35 now.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Yessenia Suarez, and Thalia and Elijah Otto

[Yeah, so this was supposed to go up yesterday but somehow it didn’t. I am putting it up now. My apologies.]

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is three cases: Yessenia Ivette Suarez, age 38, and her children, nine-year-old Thala Ivette Otto and eight-year-old Michael Elijah Otto, who was addressed by his middle name. They were last seen alive in Deltona, Floria on October 22, 2013.

We know what happened in this case, but this woman and children’s bodies have never been found. Luis Toledo, Yessenia’s husband and the children’s stepfather, murdered them in a horrific act of violence, then coerced a neighbor into helping him clean up the crime scene. After his arrest he tried to blame that same neighbor for the murders, but that didn’t go anywhere. For some reason, he was spared the death penalty when he was convicted.

It’s such a tragic story and such a waste. You might read it and think “if only Yessenia had pressed charges against him for the fight they had earlier that day” or “if only Yessenia had spent the night at her mom’s like she’d initially planned” and so on. But the real “if only” should be “if only Luis Toledo hadn’t done these awful things.”

In hearing stories about domestic violence people often ask why women stay. The real question ought to be why the men are so violent to them. Some people talk about anger management issues or whatever, but these men often have no problem controlling their anger in the workplace, with their friends, etc. It is a deliberate choice that they take it out on their wives and girlfriends.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Gustavo Machado

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is Gustavo Machado, a 44-year-old biracial black/Hispanic man.

Machado suffers from severe mental illness and was a patient at the now-defunct Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey when he initially disappeared in 1992. He was 33 years old. He resurfaced in Paterson, New Jersey on November 13, 2003, where I guess he was arrested; the photo taken of him at that time looks like a mug shot. He hasn’t been seen since.

Machado has a lot of tattoos, including several of writing in Spanish. If he’s still alive he’d be 60 years old and, probably, still living underground.