Man Arrested After Missing Texas Woman Madeline Molina Pantoja Found Dead
A 21-year-old Texas woman was last heard arguing with a man on May 10, and she was never seen again. Nine days after she was reported missing, her remains were found in a rural area.
Missing Texas woman Madeline Molina Pantoja was found dead nine days after she was reported missing. Now, 24-year-old Mario Juan Chacon, Jr. has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
Pantoja's remains were found on May 20, 2023 in a rural area. According to Midland police, Chacon was arrested hours after Pantoja was found.
According to ABC affiliate KMID, Pantoja's family said Chacon was her ex-boyfriend. The two had reportedly broken up just before she disappeared.
As of May 20, Chacon is being held without bond at the Midland County Jail. An autopsy will be performed in Dallas County.
Family, Friends, And Police Search For Missing 21-Year-Old Madeline Molina Pantoja
Madeline Molina Pantoja, 21, was last seen around 11:00 p.m. on May 10, 2023 at her apartment in Midland, Texas. She was overheard arguing with a man shortly before her disappearance.
KMID reports that family and friends believe she was arguing with her boyfriend just before she went missing. Myriam Benavides, Pantoja’s cousin, said that Pantoja’s neighbors in her apartment building heard arguments both on her apartment floor and outside.
When Madeline’s loved ones realized she was missing, family and friends tried to get into her apartment. The door was locked, and her boyfriend was the only one with the key, according to her friend Karen Ramos. They found her phone, keys, and purse were still in her apartment. Her vehicle was still parked at the apartment complex, too.
Ramos told KMID, “I wish I could show her how much she's loved and how much we want her back."
Family members are trying to raise money to offer a reward for information on Pantoja’s disappearance. Christian Pantoja, who identifies herself as Madeline’s older sister, started a GoFundMe page which has raised over $20,000 so far. She posted, “The money will be added toward the cash reward for the person (who will be kept anonymous if they wish) who provides valuable information that leads us to finding Madeline.”
Pantoja’s case has also gotten attention from TikTok where users are sharing her story and asking for help finding her.
According to PEOPLE, Pantoja has brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, and she weighs approximately 130 lbs. She has tattoos including two butterfly tattoos behind her right ear and a rose tattoo on her arm.
The Midland Police Department is joining Pantoja’s loved ones in asking the public for help finding her. Anyone with any information on Madeline Molina Pantoja and her disappearance is asked to call MPD at 432-685-7108.
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