Jessica G. Lopez

Lopez, circa 2019; Tattoo on Lopez's ankle; Matthew Mercado; Lopez's silver 2005 Toyota Camry

  • Missing Since 11/03/2019
  • Missing From New Windsor, New York
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Hispanic
  • Age 36 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 123 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Silver 2005 Toyota Camry with the New Jersey license plate number JDC9597
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Lopez has a tattoo of a red rose on the back of her neck, a tattoo of the words "Y Loca" on the side of her neck, and a tattoo on her left ankle; a photo of the ankle tattoo is posted with this case summary. She has a scar running from the left center side of her head to the back of her head, and a scar on her right ankle. Her ears are pierced and she has a mole above her left eyebrow. She may spell her first name "Yessica." At the time of her disappearance, Lopez had blonde highlights in her hair.

Details of Disappearance

Lopez was last seen by at the Windsor Motel on Route 92 in New Windsor, New York in the early hours of November 3, 2019. She was staying there with her sometime boyfriend, Matthew Louis Mercado. She has never been heard from again.

That evening, her silver 2005 Toyota Camry with the New Jersey license plate number JDC9597 was found abandoned at the Showtime Cinemas on Route 300 in Newburgh, New York, the town where she lived. A photo of the care is posted with this case summary.

On November 6, authorities arrested Mercado for an unrelated burglary charge: he allegedly broke into another room in the Windsor Motel at 1:30 a.m. on November 3 and stole a backpack and purse from three women who were sleeping there.

He was still in custody on that charge a year later when, in November 2020, he was charged with second-degree murder in Lopez's case. Investigators stated they believed she was the victim of a domestic violence homicide at the Windsor Motel on the morning she was last seen, but that they had located her body and did not expect that they will find it.

According to police, at about 5:00 a.m., Lopez tried to leave their motel room and Mercado restrained her and killed her. He subsequently deleted text messages between them from his phone, and disposed of her phone. He put her body in the trunk of her own car and then disposed of the remains.

He is also charged with second-degree burglary, two counts of larceny, two counts of petty larceny, three counts of evidence tampering, one count of criminal possession of stolen property, and one count of second-degree criminal impersonation. Some of the charges are because he allegedly used Lopez's debit card to withdraw $1,500 from her bank account at 9:00 a.m., several hours after her death.

A photo of Mercado is posted with this case summary. In August 2022, he pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, second-degree burglary and tampering with physical evidence in Lopez's death.

Mercado stated he caused Lopez's death by giving her a variety of illegal drugs and failed to get medical aid for her when he realized she was having a severe adverse reaction. He put her body in the trunk of her car, drove it away and later hid her body, and as part of the plea agreement he must say where the remains are. The prosecution plans to request a sentence of 17 to 19 years in prison.

Lopez worked as a substitute teacher at schools in Newburgh between 2007 and 2012, and then at a medical clinic, until she quit to take care of her sick father. Some accounts state she was last seen at her home on Dubois Street in Newburgh on November 1.

Both New Windsor and Newburgh police are investigating her case. Foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • New Windsor Police Department 845-565-7000
  • Newburgh Police Department 845-561-3131

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 26, 2022; details of disappearance updated.