Map by Chris Goodman, Courtesy HistoryLink
Where is Marizela Perez? Families frustrated when loved ones vanish
Marizela Perez's family believes Seattle police could be doing more to find the missing University of Washington student. But they have also learned what other families in similarly heartbreaking situations face: There are few resources devoted to finding missing adults and limited avenues for law enforcement to pursue when there's no evidence of foul play.
By Christine Clarridge / Seattle Times staff reporter
Originally published May 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Perhaps Marizela Perez is hiding out somewhere, gathering the courage to tell her parents she dropped out of chemistry, switched her major to art and got a tattoo.
At least that's what her parents hope.
The alternatives, say Jasmin and Edgar Perez, are too horrible to accept.
Marizela, an 18-year-old University of Washington freshman, was seen leaving a Safeway store on Brooklyn Avenue Northeast on March 5. She has not been seen since.
Police and her relatives say there was no evidence of an abduction, no note left by Marizela, no indication of what may have happened to the only child, whom her father called "the center of our family."
Her relatives filed a police report and put up hundreds of fliers, held fundraisers, created Facebook pages, hired a private investigator, searched woods and parks with teams of trained dogs and even had the case featured twice on television's "America's Most Wanted." Marizela's cousin, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, has written about the disappearance in her nationally syndicated column and on the website http://www.findmarizela.com/.
Database on missing adults
IN AN EFFORT TO CREATE a comprehensive national database on missing adults, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is asking people with information about specific missing-person cases to enter it into a free online database, which is accessible to medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement and the general public.
In the past, the only national repository of missing-persons' data was
the FBI's National Crime Information Center,
which can be used only by law-enforcement agencies.
For more information, see http://www.namus.gov/
Marizela Perez's family has set up a tip line for information on her whereabouts:
Callers will remain anonymous.