Details of Disappearance Medina was last seen on January 5, 2006, when she left her mother's Austin, Texas home to run errands. She never returned and has never been heard from again.
Her live-in boyfriend found her white 1995 Isuzo Rodeo SUV with the Texas license plate number X13HVJ several days after her disappearance, abandoned behind a gas station near Memorial Drive and the 610 West Loop. This location is far from Medina's home and not along a route she would have normally taken. The SUV's license plates were missing when it was located.
Medina's live-in boyfriend, Miguel Antonio Martinez, is the father of the child she was carrying at the time of her disappearance. A photo of Martinez is posted with this case summary. He was long considered a person of interest in her case, and he failed two polygraph tests. He also boxed up all her belongings within days of her disappearance.
Medina had reportedly planned to leave Martinez and went to a real estate agent about finding another home. Martinez was arrested on a weapons charge in May 2011; he had several illegal handmade gun silencers in his home. He was subsequently charged with Medina's murder.
In a statement to authorities, Martinez said he and Medina were at home when she accused him of infidelity and attacked him with a letter opener, and when he pushed her in self-defense, she hit her head against the shower and died in spite of his attempts at CPR. He said he got "confused" and panicked afterwards, wrapped her body in a garbage bag and disposed of it in a rural area.
He said he returned to the dump site three times to try to find the body and bury it, but was unable to locate it. Authorities launched their own search for Medina's body in the area Martinez indicated, but they found nothing.
In court, after a judge refused to suppress Martinez's confession, he pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to twenty years in prison. He could have gotten a life sentence if convicted at trial. Martinez later tried to withdraw his guilty plea, but this was refused.
Medina was employed as a housekeeper at the time of her disappearance. She was born and raised in El Salvador and fled in 1988, during that country's civil war. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
- Houston Police Department
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 18, 2017; details of disappearance updated.