Why do so many people go missing from the Houston Texas area? More on that later this week. Today’s blog is in regard to Maria who has been missing since last summer.
On June 21,2018 Maria Jimenez Rodríguez left her baby at the sitter and left to work around 8am like any other regular day. Then throughout the day she sent text messages to a coworker that she would be late to work but never showed up.
Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez, 29, vanished on Thursday morning around 8 a.m. while en route her paralegal job at a Houston law firm. Prior to leaving for work, Maria dropped her daughter, 3-year-old Destiny, off at a neighbor’s home off of Texarkana, then returned to her own home to grab her gym bag and purse. According to Maria’s sister, Gloria, their brother was in the residence at the time and watched Maria close the gate and drive off in her truck.
Shortly after leaving, Maria sent a text message to a co-worker, explaining she was running late. The text message didn’t seem unusual. The following text, however, which indicated Maria was headed back to the babysitter’s home to pick up her sick child, set off red flags. There were no calls made to Gloria from the babysitter and the little girl was not sick that day.
Gloria told Nancy Grace that her sister never referred to her daughter as “Dez,” yet the text messages sent used the nickname several times. Gloria said she had no idea who would refer to the little girl by that particular nickname.
“She doesn’t say ‘Dez’ as the baby’s name. The baby’s name is Destiny,” Gloria explained. “Those texts are saying ‘Dez.’ That’s not the way she relates to the baby. I’ve already looked all over my texts and they always say ‘Destiny.’”
Gloria also said that her sister also doesn’t write slang words, especially when messaging a co-worker or supervisor. The worried sister indicated that the text messages contained several slang words that she had never heard her sister use before.
At around 6:17 p.m., another text was sent from Maria’s phone to her co-worker, which read she was being followed by a “two white or Hispanic males” in a red truck. Gloria said it seemed odd that her sister would have time to provide so many details if she was truly being followed.
“Your being followed by someone and you’re trying to drive away. Why are you going to write a big paragraph and explain Hispanic, Latino, white, black, yellow? If you’re being followed, you don’t have time to write all of that.”
Further, Maria never called 911. If she had the opportunity to send out a text message, according to Texas EquuSearch founder, Tim Miller, she would have likely had the chance to call 911. She also didn’t contact family members. The text message was sent to a co-worker, although it was past business hours.
Police later found Maria’s truck a few blocks from her home. Witnesses said they first saw truck at around 7 p.m. in the evening but didn’t see anyone around it. Authorities are now processing evidence in the truck, looking for any clues to help find Maria.
Gloria said she couldn’t think of anyone who want to hurt her sister, but according Miller, police do have a few persons of interest in mind.
One of the most common misconceptions is that families must wait a certain amount of time to report someone missing, anywhere from 24 to 48 or even 72 hours. That’s not the case, and reporting someone missing earlier rather than later could yield vital clues that are lost with the passage of time.
From the federal level, there is no waiting period. We’re hearing from you that local law enforcement has a waiting period. There is no waiting period to enter someone into the national system.
Anyone with information on the case can call the Houston Police Department Missing Persons Unit at (832) 394-1840 or Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.