Martha Rodenzo Death Mystery: From LA, Seen Alive in Mission Viejo, Found Dead in Santa Ana

Homicide investigators are dealing with a mystery: How did a 51-year-old Los Angeles woman last seen in Mission Viejo become a dead body on the 5 freeway in Santa Ana?

Martha Rodenzo's body was discovered by a motorist on the 5's northbound transition ramp to the westbound 22 Freeway around 2:45 a.m. Sunday. She'd apparently walked out angry from a family gathering in Mission Viejo around midnight and was last seen on foot in the area of Avery Parkway and the 5.

"We don't know if she was in a vehicle and jumped out of the vehicle. We don't know if she was thrown out of the vehicle," Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told KABC/Channel 7 News.

Rodezno's parents in Boyle Heights were also at a loss to explain how their daughter, who is the mother of three children, met her end. Her father, Carlos Lopez, says he last saw his daughter on Thursday.

An autopsy that might shed light on the cause of death in pending. Bertagna, the police department spokesman, said this morning investigators hope to be contacted by someone who saw Rodenzo get into a car in the Mission Viejo area.

Anyone with information that can help the suspicious death investigation is asked to contact Santa Ana Police at 714.245.8390.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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