Details of Disappearance
Gabriela was last seen when her mother dropped her off at school on April 5, 2002. She did not attend her classes that day; she had not, in fact, gone to any since two days before her disappearance. She apparently went to visit her nineteen-year-old boyfriend, Juan Jose Vera, in Chula Vista, California instead.
That same day, Gabriela's mother went grocery shopping and when she returned, she found a note from Gabriela saying she loved her and was going out. She has never been heard from again.
Authorities initially believed Gabriela had run away and many agencies continue to classify her as such, but now police suspect foul play may have been involved in her disappearance.
In June 2005, police searched the Otay River Bottom at Otay Valley Regional Park because they thought her body might be buried there. Nothing was found, but investigators still believe her remains are in the vicinity.
Vera has gang affiliations and was allegedly abusive towards Gabriela, and he is considered a person of interest in her disappearance. He has a criminal record for, among other things, a series of bank robberies.
Gabriela was a freshman at Montgomery High School in 2002, and wasn't a good student, but she was close to her family. Her case remains unsolved.