Details of Disappearance Perez was last seen in Wilmington, Delaware on October 2, 1990. He spoke to his wife of nine years on the phone at 2:30 p.m. and said he would meet her in an hour to take her shopping. From the background noise during the call, she believes he was at a bar, possibly the Scoreboard Bar & Grill in the 500 block of Maryland Avenue, where he was a regular.
Perez had made prior arrangements to meet a friend there. The friend arrived at 2:45 p.m. and he was gone, but his brand new blue and silver 1990 Astro van was parked crookedly on Bird Street, just around the corner of the bar, with the windows rolled down. Perez has never been heard from again. His wife reported him missing on October 6.
After a local newspaper ran an article about Perez's disappearance in November 1990, a woman thought she recognized his picture. She said she'd seen a man resembling Perez driving an old, beat-up pickup truck down State Route 896. This sighting has never been confirmed. Perez's wife stated he'd dropped out of sight before, but never for longer than a few days.
James Christopher "Chris" DeAngelo was convicted of Perez's murder in 1999. He allegedly shot him to death after Perez came to his house to collect on a debt. DeAngelo's wife and a friend helped him dispose of the body and clean up the crime scene.
DeAngelo had been charged with first-degree murder, but was convicted of a lesser count of second-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
Perez had lived in the Wilmington area for most of his life before his disappearance and attended Catholic schools within the city. He lived in the Melody Meadows area near Glasgow, Delaware with his wife and two children. His wife describes him as a very friendly, generous person who lent money to people in need.
His body has never been found. Police believe it was first buried in a shallow grave in the marshes near Interstate 95, then later dug up, dismembered and dumped in the Christina River.
- Wilmington Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 1, 2017; details of disappearance updated.