Velda Leyba

Leyba, circa 1992

  • Missing Since 12/06/1992
  • Missing From Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 39 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'0, 115 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A brown jacket and tan pants.
  • Medical Conditions Leyba has a history of drug abuse.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, brown eyes. Leyba has a deep scar at the corner of her left eye. Her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Leyba was last seen in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 8:30 p.m. on December 6, 1992, her daughter's birthday. Leyba called her daughter to say she was leaving a friend's house in the South Valley area and would be arriving at her daughter's home to celebrate. She never arrived and has never been heard from again.

Leyba was driving a light blue 1987 Chrysler LeBaron at the time of her disappearance. On February 25, 1993, almost three months after she was last seen, the car was found abandoned in the vicinity of the 7200 Isleta southwest, near Interstate 25. Leyda's personal belongings, including her purse, were inside it. The police refused to accept a formal missing persons report until after her car was located.

Leyba was last seen at a house on Wheeler southeast, near Gibson and Interstate 25. Another woman, Lisa Duncan, disappeared from the same house five months later and her body was found in October 1993. Her murder remains unsolved.

Although a police detective noticed blood on the carpeting, the house wasn't searched until 2011, nearly twenty years after the women vanished, when a confidential informant told authorities both women had been killed there. The current owner, who didn't live there at the time Leyba and Duncan vanished, hadn't changed the carpet in the meantime and investigators hope to recover enough blood evidence to test for DNA.

Leyba became addicted to drugs after her nine-year-old daughter died in an accident, but it's unclear whether drugs were a factor in her disappearance. Foul play is suspected in her case; authorities believe she was murdered.

Investigating Agency

  • Albuquerque Police Department 505-553-1823

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 27, 2011; details of disappearance updated.