Three women have been missing from Santa Ana since Aug. 13, 2013, and police detectives are still hopeful the public can provide clues to help find them.
Two of the women, Josephine Vargas and Martha Anaya, frequented East First Street, between Grand Avenue and the 55 freeway, an area known to be “a haven for drug and prostitution activity,” according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
The third woman, Kianna Jackson, arrived in Orange County via bus at the Santa Ana terminal, immediately checked into a motel in Costa Mesa, and then disappeared several days later, according to police, who have been unable so far to connect her with the East First Street area.
“While these women were not directly associated with one another, their similar backgrounds are cause for concern and may indicate the disappearances are related,” reads an alert from the department.
A fourth woman, Andrea Palma Thomas, had also been feared missing but was located in Anaheim Hills in December, much to the 29-year-old's chagrin. She knew authorities were looking for her but remained in hiding because there was a warrant out for her arrest.
“Detectives have now ruled out any connection between Palma Thomas and the three women who have yet to be found,” states the police alert.
All three women have been entered into state and nationwide missing persons databases, and police stress there is no definitive evidence they were abducted or victims of foul play. Anyone with information that can help locate the women is asked to contact the Santa Ana Police Department at 714.245.8393 and ask for Investigative Specialist Debbie Velarde-Reyes.
Anonymous tips may be left with OC Crimestoppers at 855.847.6227.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.