Four months ago today, my cousin Marizela Perez disappeared from the University District in Seattle, Washington. I am devastated to tell you once again that there are no new leads or breaks in the case. Her parents have exhausted their work leave and have had to return to the East Coast. The family is weighing various legal and investigative avenues to pursue. As I reported in May, the quest to obtain Marizela’s online/text info has been an uphill battle. After months of pressing, we finally received a search warrant two weeks ago related to the case. It had been signed by a judge on April 22; we gained access to it in late June. The scope of the search warrant for Marizela’s Google records was limited to:
- All Google searches associated with her IP address from March 2 – March 5, 2011;
- All Google searches associated with her gmail account from March 2- March 5, 2011; and
- All email content — incoming, outgoing, drafts, and deleted messages — from March 1 – March 11, 2011.
Marizela’s Google web history was not included. The Seattle Police Department will not disclose the actual Google records to her parents so that they could pursue the search for Marizela on their own.
Days after Marizela disappeared, I described the feelings that families of the missing share:
You try to eat, but all you can taste is indigestible fear.
You try to breathe, but all that fills your lungs is stifling uncertainty.
You try to sleep, but all that comes is fathomless fatigue.
Your heart is weighted with grief, but your soul refuses to mourn.
Emem, wherever you are: You are so loved.
Marizela’s parents, Edgar and Jasmine, have remained vigilant, hopeful, and brave beyond belief. Please, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as the search for Marizela continues.
Reminder: Marizela’s missing persons flyer is here.
Tip line: 1-855-MARIZEL.
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Lahat ay magiging maayos.
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