Erika Andrea Gaytan

Gaytan, circa 2019; Gaytan on the night of her disappearance; Ricardo Marquez

  • Missing Since 07/14/2019
  • Missing From El Paso, Texas
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Hispanic
  • Date of Birth 02/09/1990 (34)
  • Age 29 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 120 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A white dress and dangly earrings. A photo of Gaytan on the night of her disappearance is posted with this case summary.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Jeep Wrangler (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Gaytan's ears and lip are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Gaytan was last seen in El Paso, Texas, the day she went on a date to the El Reencuentro Norteño concert at the El Paso County Coliseum. A family member dropped her off at her apartment in the 11400 block of Pebble Hills Boulevard at 7:30 p.m.; this is the last time anyone in the family saw her.

She texted her seven-year-old's son father at 9:30 p.m. She posted on Facebook showing the stage at the concert, and a selfie taken in the bathroom. Her last post was shortly after midnight on July 14. Her family reported her missing on July 16.

At the time of her disappearance, Gaytan was awaiting trial for 66 charges of credit card or debit card abuse and one count of criminal mischief; she had allegedly charged $713.72 online under a false name, and in a separate incident she'd allegedly scratched a woman's vehicle with an unknown object, causing over $2,500 worth of damage.

She'd pleaded not guilty to the criminal mischief charge in October 2017, and her trial for that was set for August 9, 2019. She'd also pleaded not guilty to the credit card charges in April 2019, and her trial for those was scheduled for November 1.

After her disappearance, a warrant was issued for her arrest, but authorities emphasized they believed she was in danger and had not fled because of the charges. She had no prior history of disappearing and her family didn't think she would have abandoned her son, and police stated she was missing under suspicious circumstances.

In December 2019, Ricardo Marquez was arrested and charged with Gaytan's murder. A photo of Marquez is posted with this case summary. He was Gaytan's date to the concert that night, and was the last person known to have seen her. He told police that they'd gone to his home in the 3600 block of Nehemiah Place, but that they'd argued and she used a ride-share app to leave. No evidence of this was found in Gaytan's phone records.

According to court documents, at 11:00 a.m. on July 14, Marquez texted his brother and asked to borrow his Jeep Wrangler, even though he had a vehicle of his own. Fifteen minutes later he asked his sister for a shovel, and he picked it up ten minutes after that. Police seized the shovel as evidence, along with a pair of shoes with sand inside them "visually consistent with the sand in the desert area off East Montana [Avenue]".  They also discovered, and seized, zip-ties fastened in a manner consistent with restraints.

Marquez picked up his brother's Jeep at about 12:00 p.m. on July 14, and surveillance video from the 14900 block of Montana Avenue showed the Jeep driving westbound, away from the desert area, about an hour and a half later. Authorities seized the Jeep and found blood, matching Gaytan's DNA, in the rear cargo area.

Marquez is awaiting trial in Gaytan's case. Her body has never been found, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • El Paso Police Department 915-832-4400

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 20, 2020; casefile added.