Oregon Mother Of Four Who Was To Meet Up With Teen Son Suddenly Vanishes
“Physically I just wish I could hug her again and tell her how much we really love her,” says the daughter of Graciela Garcia.
An Oregon woman suddenly went missing one night over three years ago, and authorities and her family refuse to give up hope until they get answers in the case.
On Nov. 8, 2019, Graciela Garcia, a then-49-year-old mother of four, was supposed to bring dinner to her 14-year-old son at her ex-husband’s home in Hermiston, where the boy was staying, but she never arrived.
Instead, Garcia’s current husband, Cuahotémoc Romero Sanchez, delivered the food to his stepson, reportedly explaining to the teenager that his mother had gone to bed.
Around 7 p.m. that evening, the boy got a text from his mother and noticed he also had two missed calls — but when he tried to phone back, he immediately got her voicemail.
“That was a huge red flag,” the boy’s older sister, Gabriela Bautista, told Dateline months after Garcia went missing. “She always had her phone on, and had been in constant contact with my brother that night. They were supposed to meet. That was the plan. She wouldn’t have just turned her phone off and disappeared.”
The concerned boy’s older siblings went to their mother’s home, where they found her vehicle, purse, clothing, and other personal items and noted nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“That was odd, too,” Bautista told Dateline of Garcia, who ran a beauty salon out of the residence. “All her jewelry was there. In one place. Whenever she would go out, she would put on her rings. Things would be scattered, like her clothes, but it was all in place. And nothing was missing.”
Three days later, on Nov. 11, 2019, Garcia’s family reported her missing to police. Detectives considered the disappearance suspicious and immediately launched an investigation.
According to reports, detectives were never able to locate several of Garcia’s key possessions: her cell phone, ID, and passport. The investigation determined Garcia’s phone pinged for the last time in Washington shortly after midnight the night she vanished.
In July 2020, Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston said in a statement that Garcia’s current husband, Sanchez, “has been cooperative throughout this investigation.”
“He has consented to a search of his home and other property under his control, been interviewed on more than one occasion, provided DNA samples, etc.,” the chief said. “He was under no legal obligation to do any of those things, and his cooperation was not compelled in any manner.”
Edmiston added: “Like the whole community, but particularly Graciela’s family, we want answers. The case will remain open until we get those answers.”
Bautista said at times she feels her mother “is still here” but other moments she believes she’s not “because we don’t know anything,” KAPP KVEW News reported.
“Physically I just wish I could hug her again and tell her how much we really love her,” she said. “I hope that there’s a sign from her soon.”
Garcia is 5’4”, 140 pounds, and was blonde when she went missing.
Anyone with information related to the disappearance of Graciela Garcia is asked to call the Hermiston Police Department at 541-567-5519.