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: 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.

MP of the week: Edd Lope

This week’s featured missing person is Edd Dominic “Eddie” Lope, a 28-year-old Native American man who disappeared from Washington, Utah on June 21, 2005. He was last seen at his home in Washington during the early morning hours. His truck was later found abandoned on a dirt road just across the Arizona border.

I don’t have a lot of information on this case. Lope’s right thumb doesn’t bend for some reason; there’s probably something wrong with the bone that might be an important identifying characteristic.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Francisco Nino-Vasquez

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 Francisco Javier Nino-Vasquez, a 20-year-old man who disappeared from Watsonville, California on August 1, 2005.

His is one of my “few details are available” cases unfortunately. He does have several tattoos, some of which may suggest gang affiliation.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Diana Gonzalez

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 Diana Isabel Gonzalez, a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Raeford, North Carolina on October 15, 2005.

Her case is classified as a non-family abduction; she left, apparently voluntarily, with a 29-year-old man, Jose Barrera-Pacheco, who was a friend of her family. Barrera-Pacheco called her parents to say he was in love with her and they would never see her again. Barrera-Pacheco has a warrant out for kidnapping. They may be in Mexico or California.

If still alive, Diana would be 28 years old by now. She’s probably got a couple of kids. It’s strange that in all these years she’s NEVER reached out to her family. I think social media may be a good way to solve this case; Diana may have social media profiles, even if they’re not under her real name.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: David Arrieta

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 David Sosa Arrieta, who disappeared from Phoenix, Arizona on October 7, 2001, at the age of thirty. His car was found abandoned a few days later.

Although foul play is suspected in Arrieta’s disappearance, I can’t find any articles about his case. I did find a few possible mentions of him from prior to his disappearance. In the Arizona Republic I did find mentions of a baby born in 1999 to David and Antoinette Arrieta, of Apache Junction; this David might be the same man who disappeared two years later.

David Arrieta has four distinctive tattoos, of which I have photos. It looks like the pics were taken before any of the tattoos were completed, so they might look different now.

If still alive, today he’d be 48 years old.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Trinidad Alcantar

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 Trinidad Alcantar, a 55-year-old man who disappeared from Las Cruces, New Mexico on February 2, 2007. He had an unspecified mental condition requiring medication, which he didn’t take when he left.

Alcantar’s wife thought he might be having an affair with another woman. Police talked to the alleged mistress, who admitted she knew him and claimed he’d been abused by his family. She said she didn’t know where he was but thought maybe Mexico. Alcantar’s relatives suggested Deming, a town sixty miles west of Las Cruces, as a possible new residence for him.

I don’t think he was in Deming. It’s not a big town, and the cops weren’t able to locate him there. In 2016, nine years after his disappearance, the police put out an appeal to find him, but it was fruitless. He’s still listed as missing.

All accounts indicate Alcantar left on his own and doesn’t seem to want to return. It would be nice if he could be taken off the missing persons register, though, and the police can only do that when they find him. If he wants to get in touch with the cops, by law they’re not allowed to tell anyone his whereabouts.