Los Angeles investigators have new leads in the disappearance of Maricela Garcia, a 26-year-old southern California woman who went missing while shopping at a Goodwill store on January 12, 2017. She told her sister she was going outside to smoke, but she never returned. While detectives still don’t know what happened to Garcia or where she might now be, information shared by a tipster suggests her disappearance is related to her addiction to heroin, according to private investigator Tanya Kitchen, who was hired by her family.
Maricela’s ex-boyfriend, who the family blames for her drug addiction, has not been located in recent weeks but he is believed to be in New Mexico, Kitchen said. The private investigator said she suspects Maricela could have been abducted by drug traffickers who are owed money by the boyfriend.
Although Garcia was trying to stay sober and clean of drugs — and away from the boyfriend — she apparently bought drugs from a dealer she knew through the boyfriend less than 24 hours before she disappeared.
In the first weeks after Garcia disappeared, her sister told CrimeOnline that Maricela had no direct connection to Reseda, California, a community in the San Fernando valley of Los Angeles, where she was last seen. However, we have now confirmed she was an outpatient at the methadone treatment center on the same block and she attended the church also on the block. A tracking dog indicated Maricela went inside the church and sat in a pew after leaving the Goodwill store. Two churchgoers said they saw her inside the church that night praying and then leaving in a panic.
“Crimes Stories with Nancy Grace” talks to the Garcia family spokeswoman Misti Patten about the new information in the search for missing Maricela Garcia.
[Feature Photo: Handout]