Details of Disappearance Monica was last seen at her aunt and uncle's home four miles east of Balmorhea, Texas in the early morning hours of October 2, 2003. Two cousins saw her go to bed at 11:00 p.m. the night before. They checked on her at 1:30 a.m. and she was in bed asleep. By 7:30 a.m., however, she was gone, and her Bible had disappeared with her.
Extensive searches of the area around Monica's aunt and uncle's home have yielded no clues as to her whereabouts. The terrain is rugged with many rocks, thorns and cactuses, and would have been painful to walk in without shoes. Monica may have left the Balmorhea area to meet someone, possibly an individual she contacted through the Internet. Her aunt and uncle believe she may have become disoriented from her medications, left the house, and gotten a ride with a passing motorist, possibly on Highway 17 which runs near their home.
A bus driver allegedly harassed Monica in May 2003, five months before her disappearance. She did not report the incident to any official authority, but was so shaken by it that she refused to take the bus to school after that. The bus driver was interviewed and has been ruled out as a suspect in her disappearance, but Monica's uncle failed a lie detector test in relation to her case.
While Monica apparently left the house of her own accord, police believe she may be in danger. She became depressed following her father's death from bone cancer in 2000 and was hospitalized for the depression and anorexia nervosa after losing over fifty pounds. After she was released from the hospital, she decided to live with her aunt and uncle because she was angry with her mother. Monica's mother says their relationship problems were not serious, however, and she does not believe her daughter ran away.
Monica was a junior at Alpine High School at the time of her disappearance and is described as a very religious person. Her case remains unsolved.
- Reeves County Sheriff's Office
Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 30, 2020; age-progression updated.