Details of Disappearance Claudia was last seen after leaving her workplace at the El Pollo Loco restaurant in Garden Grove, California on May 6, 2016. She told a coworker that she and her husband, Eddy Reyes, was waiting outside. They had argued on the phone earlier that day, and Eddy had called Claudia to apologize and offered to take her out dancing. She didn't want to go because they were supposed to move to a new apartment in Anaheim, California in a couple of days, but she agreed anyway.
Eddy picked Claudia up in a rented SUV. Instead of going dancing, they went to the home of Eddy's mother, Maria Orellana, and Claudia left their four-year-old son there so Orellana could babysit him. No one other than Eddy claims to have seen her after that. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
The Reyes's marriage was very troubled and the police responded to the home nine times for domestic disturbances between the couple, but never made any arrests. Claudia alleged her husband had physically, mentally and sexually abused her, and Orellana reportedly hated her and had told her she and Eddy could kill her and take her son. At one point he hired someone to steal her phone and another person to spy on her, because he believed she was being unfaithful.
Claudia had gotten two temporary restraining orders against him, the last one less than two months before her disappearance, and she was working to get a divorce and a third restraining order. In her applications for restraining orders, Claudia submitted photographs of her injuries which she alleged were caused by Eddy's abuse. She also stated he refused to feed their son or change his diapers when she had to go to work, and that he would scream at the child and hit him. She said Eddy had threatened her life, their son's and his own.
On May 7, the day after she was seen at Orellana's home, messages were sent from Claudia's phone to both her mother and an employee of her divorce attorney's office, saying she was going to New York with another man and no longer loved Eddy or their child. Eddy claimed he last saw her that evening when he dropped her off at a McDonald's restaurant in Santa Ana, California so she could go dancing with female friends.
Cellular phone records indicate neither of the couple's phones were in the area of the McDonald's that night. Both the couple's phones traveled to their residence at Bush Terrace Apartments in the 2000 block of Bush Street in Santa Ana on May 7, but Claudia wasn't seen on video surveillance footage at the complex. Shortly thereafter, Eddy removed everything from their apartment and moved to Anaheim as they had planned.
After Claudia went missing, a drop of her blood was found in the SUV Eddy rented, and a cadaver-sniffing dog detected the scent of human remains in the backseat and in the rear storage area. In April 2021, five years after her disappearance, Eddy was arrested and charged with kidnapping resulting in death in her case. If convicted, he could face life in prison without parole, or the death penalty.
Eddy is awaiting trial. Claudia's body has never been found. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
- Santa Ana Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 1, 2021; casefile added.