Details of Disappearance
Sandoval was last seen in Alamosa, Colorado at 9:50 p.m. on February 23, 2011. She had done some laundry at a laundromat and when she returned to her home in the 700 block of 13th Street, she took her phone, her one-year-old daughter, her daughter's car seat and some of the laundry indoors. She then went out to get her purse and the rest of the laundry, but never returned.
Ten or fifteen minutes later, her brother went out to check on her and she was gone. The back door of Sandoval's car was open, the keys were in the door lock and her purse was lying either on the floorboard of the car or on the ground outside the car. There was no sign of her and she has never been heard from again. She left behind her cellular phone and cigarettes, which is uncharacteristic of her.
Sandoval disappeared ten days before she was supposed to testify against Jose Luis Meraz, an acquaintance who allegedly assaulted her in a home invasion in November 2010. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
Meraz allegedly broke into her home while she was sleeping, threatened to shoot her and her daughter, robbed her of $200 and bound her with duct tape. Sandoval recognized him by his voice and tattoos, and he was charged with menacing, robbery, kidnapping, assault and cruelty to a child.
Meraz was in jail awaiting trial at the time of Sandoval's disappearance. Without her testimony, the prosecution had no case against him and the charges were dropped; they can be refiled in the future if Sandoval reappears. After the home invasion case was dropped, Meraz remained in jail on an unrelated assault charge, for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
It hasn't been proven that Meraz or the 2010 home invasion incident had anything to do with Sandoval's disappearance, and he denies any involvement. Investigators have several persons of interest in Sandoval's case besides Meraz. Many of these individuals are currently incarcerated.
Sandoval is the oldest of six children, and worked as a waitress at the time she went missing. Foul play is suspected in Sandoval's case due to the circumstances of her disappearance. Investigators and her family don't believe she would have abandoned her child.
The father of Sandoval's daughter is in prison, and Sandoval's mother is now taking care of the baby. Sandoval's case remains unsolved.