Pearl Pinson

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Above Images: Pearl, circa 2016

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 25, 2016 from Vallejo, California
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: December 15, 2000
  • Age: 15 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'3, 130 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, blue/green eyes. Pearl's hair was dyed green at the time of her disappearance. The left side of her lower lip is pierced.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black and white zip-up jacket, a gray sweater or sweatshirt, black leggings or sweatpants, pink, black and white Nike Turfs shoes, and a black Raiders beanie cap. Carrying a black and turquoise backpack with a Joker emblem on it. A photo of the backpack is posted below this case summary.
  • Medical Conditions: Pearl may be in need of medical attention for unspecified reasons.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Pearl was last seen in Vallejo, California on May 25, 2016. She was walking to the school bus stop, shortly before 7:00 a.m. when a witness saw an armed Hispanic man (later identified as 19-year-old Fernando Castro) dragging her across a pedestrian overpass along Interstate 780 near Taylor Avenue. Pearl's face was bloody, she was screaming for help, and the witness heard at least one shot. The witness called 911 and when the authorities arrived, they found a bloodstain and Pearl's cell phone on the overpass, but there was no sign of Pearl or her abductor.

    A photo of Castro is posted below this case summary. He had a minor criminal history, but not for crimes involving stalking or kidnapping, and his family was reportedly "blindsided" when they found out what he had done. Some reports state that he was an acquaintance of Pearl's, possibly her boyfriend. However, he was not Pearl's boyfriend and she apparently didn't know him at all; investigators could find no evidence of any prior contact between them, either in person or through social media.

    Castro was sighted driving his gold four-door 1997 Saturn in the area of the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near the San Rafael Bridge in Marin County, California at 9:30 a.m., two and a half hours after Pearl's abduction. Photos of the car are posted below this case summary. It had the license plate number 5XZD385. The following afternoon, Castro was sighted driving in San Luis Obispo County, California. Officers with the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office chased his vehicle into Santa Barbara County. There was a shootout between police and Castro, and Castro was killed. Pearl wasn't with him at the time of his death and she has never been heard from again.

    Castro was killed more than 300 miles south from where Pearl was taken. When police searched his car they found Pearl's blood in the trunk, but they said it was not a large amount, not enough to indicate she'd been seriously injured or killed. Although there was speculation that Pearl was the victim of sex trafficking, investigators could find no evidence to support the theory and no evidence that anyone other than Castro was involved in her disappearance. They stated they weren't sure whether she was dead or alive, but that the passage of time made it less likely that she was still alive.

    Pearl is the second of three children in her family and enjoys skateboarding, going to the beach and other outdoor pursuits. Her whereabouts are unknown and her case remains unsolved.

    Car Traffic Photo 1 Car Traffic Photo 2
    Fernando Castro Backpack
    Top Row: Traffic photos of Guerrero's car;
    Bottom Left: Fernando Castro;
    Bottom Right: Photo of Pearl Pinson's backpack

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Solano County Sheriff's Office
    707-421-7090

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    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    California Attorney General's Office
    CBS Sacramento
    Benicia, California Patch
    Napa Valley, California Patch
    Blog About Pearl Pinson
    Noozhawk
    KRON 4

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    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated June 11, 2017; casefile added.

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