Details of Disappearance
Mkrtchyan was last seen near south Durango Drive and the West Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 19, 2014. She worked as an insurance broker for Farmers Insurance and met with a client at the Allanza Apartments. She texted her boss to say she had to miss work to attend her ex-husband's aunt's funeral in California. She has never been seen again, and it turned out there was no family funeral in California.
Mkrtchyan texted her loved ones saying she was in California on a business trip, not for a funeral. She wrote she had left her car at the Allanza apartment complex with the keys hidden in the gas tank cap, and that she would return in a few days. She said that her phone battery was was dying because she'd left the charger at home, something that's uncharacteristic of her, because she needed the phone for her job.
Mkrtchyan lived with her ex-husband, Ara Marutyan, in the 8900 block of Coast Walk Circle at the time of her disappearance. They have a son and daughter who were both in college in 2014, the son at a local university and the daughter in Illinois.
Mkrtchyan and Marutyan divorced in 2007 after a sixteen-year marriage; he claims the parting was amicable. However, other witnesses stated Mkrtchyan had once been brutally beaten by her husband, and that she told her daughter and others that she was afraid he might kill her. Her brother, who lives in New York City, stated he didn't think Mkrtchyan would have abandoned her family, especially as their mother had had a recent heart attack.
Marutyan failed a lie detector test after Mkrtchyan's disappearance, and police believe he has lied to them, but he maintains his innocence. Their son was also investigated. A private investigator believes Armenian organized crime figures may have been involved in Mkrtchyan's case, and speculated that identity theft may have been the motive.
Mkrtchyan's ex-husband and son, however, stated she'd been talking about Mexico prior to her disappearance, and that she was communicating with a man online; her son said he thought she'd gone to the Baja California region of that country with a love interest.
Mkrtchyan was born in Soviet Armenia and moved to the United States as an adult. She has a master's degree in mechanical engineering from an Armenian university, and also attended the Manhattan School of Computer Technology. She left behind her suitcase, all her clothes and her other belongings. She has no history of mental illness or unstable behavior and it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning.
Authorities believe foul play was involved in Mkrtchyan's disappearance, and they're investigating it as a possible homicide.