Exclusive: Paralegal mom vanishes after dropping toddler daughter at babysitter’s home, desperate search continues

Texas EquuSearch is working with the Houston Police Department in an attempt to find a young mother who disappeared while on he way to work last Thursday, and hasn’t been seen since.

In this episode of “Crime Stories,” Nancy Grace talks to Maria’s sister Gloria Jimenez and Texas EquuSearch leader Tim Miller about the case. Forensics expert Karen Smith, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober, Criminal defense lawyer Jason Oshins, and CrimeOnline.com investigative journalist Leigh Egan join the discussion.

Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez, 29, vanished on Thursday morning around 8 a.m. while en route her paralegal job at a Houston law firm. Prior to leaving for work, Maria dropped her daughter, 3-year-old Destiny, off at a neighbor’s home off of Texarkana, then returned to her own home to grab her gym bag and purse. According to Maria’s sister, Gloria, their brother was in the residence at the time and watched Maria close the gate and drive off in her truck.

Shortly after leaving, Maria sent a text message to a co-worker, explaining she was running late. The text message didn’t seem unusual. The  following text, however, which indicated Maria was headed back to the babysitter’s home to pick up her sick child, set off red flags. There were no calls made to Gloria from the babysitter and the little girl was not sick that day.

Gloria told Nancy Grace that her sister never referred to her daughter as “Dez,” yet the text messages sent used the nickname several times. Gloria said she had  no idea who would refer to the little girl by that particular nickname.

“She doesn’t say ‘Dez’ as the baby’s name. The baby’s name is Destiny,” Gloria explained. “Those texts are saying ‘Dez.’ That’s not the way she relates to the baby. I’ve already looked all over my texts and they always say ‘Destiny.'”

This is a nightmare days and nights go by and I don’t hear anything .Please if anyone know something please report it…

Posted by Gloria Jimenez on Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Gloria also said that her sister also doesn’t write slang words, especially when messaging a co-worker or supervisor. The worried sister indicated that the text messages contained several slang words that she had never heard her sister use before.

At around 6:17 p.m., another text was sent from Maria’s phone to her co-worker, which read she was being followed by a “two white or Hispanic males” in a red truck. Gloria said it seemed odd that her sister would have time to provide so many details if she was truly being followed.

“Your being followed by someone and you’re trying to drive away. Why are you going to write a big paragraph and explain Hispanic, Latino, white, black, yellow? If you’re being followed, you don’t have time to write all of that.”

Further, Maria never called 911. If she had the opportunity to send out a text message, according to Texas EquuSearch founder, Tim Miller, she would have likely had the chance to call 911. She also didn’t contact family members. The text message was sent to a co-worker, although it was past business hours.

Police later found Maria’s truck a few blocks from her home. Witnesses said they first saw truck at around 7 p.m. in the evening but didn’t see anyone around it. Authorities are now processing evidence in the truck, looking for any clues to help find Maria.

Gloria said she couldn’t think of anyone who want to hurt her sister, but according Miller, police do have a few persons of interest in mind.

Anyone with any information on Maria’s whereabouts should contact the Houston PD at 832-394-1840 or Texas Equusearch at 281-309-9500.

[Feature Photo: Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez/Handout]