Leticia Barrales Ramos

Ramos, circa 2009; Felipe Cruz Hernandez

  • Missing Since 04/12/2009
  • Missing From Winters, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 10/02/1980 (38)
  • Age 28 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 250 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Black hair, brown eyes. Ramos is a Mexican citizen.

Details of Disappearance

Ramos was last seen in Winters, California during the early morning hours of April 12, 2009. Neighbors heard the sounds of an argument coming from her residence, then a car door slammed. She has never been heard from again. Her husband, Felipe Cruz Hernandez, claimed at first that Ramos had had to go to Mexico for a family emergency.

Some of her relatives received phone calls from someone claiming to be Ramos, who said she was at the border and having difficulties with the American Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. However, investigators could find no evidence that Ramos actually had contact with border authorities.

She also left behind her purse, passport, Mexican voter registration card, Mexican Consulate card, driver's license, credit card and over $1,000 in cash, and she would have needed those items if she were traveling out of the country. She was reported missing by her employer at Lester Farms Bakery in Dixon, California.

In May 2009, police arrested Hernandez and charged him with first-degree murder in his wife's disappearance. Authorities stated Hernandez was the last person to see Ramos, and he had a motive to kill her because they were in the process of a divorce and custody battle over their young daughter.

Hernandez allegedly followed Ramos in a borrowed vehicle, confronted her and her boyfriend, and borrowed a gun from his brother before Ramos disappeared. Investigators believe she was killed inside the family's apartment while the couple's daughter slept in the next room.

Blood was found in the residence on the furniture and on large areas of the carpet. Someone had made an attempt to clean up by steam-cleaning the carpet and rearranging the furniture to cover some of the stains.

A photo of Hernandez is posted with this case summary. He was convicted of second-degree murder in December 2009 and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison the following month.

Ramos is described as a devoted mother and a responsible worker who held two jobs when she disappeared. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 23, 2010; details of disappearance updated.