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Family raises awareness for Arelie Garcia’s disappearance 10 months ago at Salinas Rodeo

SALINAS. Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON JULY 23, 2023, AT 3:07 PM: The California Rodeo Salinas is meant to be a happy time for the community to come together and enjoy themselves. This year it took on the sobering reminder that a member of the Salinas community was and has been absent for going on 10 months now.

On the morning of Sept. 22, 2022, Arelie Garcia left her home on the 500 block of Roosevelt Street, for what would be the last time before being reported missing. Police said her sister received a text message around that same time from Arelie saying she was heading to work. Arelie never arrived at work, and later in the day family reported her missing and found her car in the Big Sur area.

On Wednesday, with the help of the MILPA Collective community members and family were outside the Salinas Sports Complex knowing there would be a large number of eyes and ears that would see and hear their cries for answers.

Family is still hopeful to find answers for their missing loved one.

Arelie's sister added that July 22 is Arelie's 26th birthday.

Salinas Police and family have no answers nine months after Arelie Garcia went missing

SALINAS. Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON JUNE 23, 2023, AT 1:35 PM: On the morning of Sept. 22, 2022, Arelie Garcia left her home on the 500 block of Roosevelt Street, for what would be the last time before being reported missing.

Salinas Police said as of Thursday, they still have no answers for her disappearance. It has been 9 months and family is still searching for answers.

In surveillance video given to KION by the family of Arelie, it shows her leaving her home at around 5:30 a.m.

Video of Arelie Garcia's leaving her Salinas home in her red Honda.

Police said her sister received a text message around that same time that said her sister was heading to work. Arelie never arrived at work, and later in the day family reported her missing and found her car in the Big Sur area.

"Detectives working in partnership with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, have conducted multiple searches in the area where her vehicle was found and in other areas of Big Sur. Area searches have also included the use of aircraft, drones, and K9s," said Salinas Police in a Facebook post.

This is still an active investigation, and police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Edwin Cruz at 831-758-7393.

bringareliehome an Instagram page started by Arelie's family is still looking for donations to pay for a billboard to help search for her.

Arelie Garcia's family meets with Salinas City Council and Police Chief demanding answers

UPDATE ON MARCH 7, 2023, AT 3:14 PM- On Tuesday afternoon, MILPA, along with family and friends of Arelie Garcia, marched through the streets of Oldtown Salinas to the Salinas City Council meeting.

Garcia has been missing since September 22, 2022, when her car and phone were found abandoned in Big Sur.

Organizers and Community Members making signs for the march. Photos courtesy of Ricardo Tovar KION

MILPA organizers told our reporter during the march that they want people to change their profile pictures on social media to Arelie for a month starting on March 13.

Family, friends and community members spoke during Public Comments and demanded answers from city leaders.

Arelie's niece Alma Michelle Marquez was one of many speakers demanding answers. "Why has she not been found? Arelie deserves to be found and brought back to her family, said Michelle Marquez. "She is the third person of color to go missing in Salinas (since 2022). We want answers. Arelie could be your daughter, your sister, and your mom. In my case, my aunt."

Arelie's mother, father and two sisters also spoke and asked the city to help with more resources for Arelie's disappearance.

Salinas Police Chief Roberto Filice arrived to ask the city for more hiring incentives and met with Arelie's family beforehand. He promised the family they would sit down with the investigators in her case and answer any questions they had.

Salinas Police told KION they are actively investigating this case and have conducted various searches in the Big Sur area where she went missing. If Anyone knows anything, they are encouraged to contact detectives.

UPDATE ON MARCH 6, 2023 AT 3:46 P.M.- The family of Arelie Garcia will no longer stay silent.

Garcia's family is asking the community to join them in a Justice for Arelie March that will take place on Tuesday afternoon.

She has been missing since Sept. 22 when her car and phone were found abandoned in Big Sur.

David Torres is Arelie's brother-in-law. He spoke on what these past couple of months have been like without Arelie.

"Before we were told by police to keep everything to ourselves and try to keep it," Torres said. "But at this point, we're not staying quiet anymore and I think we're just tired of being in that shadow."

The march will start at 3 p.m. at the MILPA headquarters at 339 Melody Lane. The march will then head to City Hall.

Family and friends will plan on speaking at the Salinas City Council meeting during public comment.

Torres says that the march is happening to keep awareness for Arelie and to provide answers.

"I know that this is all meant for us to keep awareness for any family member that may be losing, you know, someone special or is missing," Torres said. "So this march is pretty much to keep everybody on their toes and to make sure they keep their loved ones close to them."

MILPA organizers is asking all attendees to wear red and white in honor of Arelie.

Community to march for justice nearly 6 months after Arelie Garcia's disappearance

UPDATE Feb. 13, 2023, at 4:22 p.m.- Family and friends have spent the holidays and new year without a loved one who had been there for the past 25 years.

Arelie Garcia went missing on Sept. 22, the only notable clues being her car and phone abandoned in Big Sur. The community wants answers they feel aren't being searched for.

On March 7, starting at 3 p.m. a march will be held to help bring justice for Arelie. The march will start at the MILPA headquarters at 339 Melody Lane and end at the Salinas City Council.

Organizers ask attendees to wear red and white in honor of "our stolen sister."

Salinas City Council will also be meeting that same day at 4 p.m. Family and friends plan to speak during public comment.

MILPA will support the family as they march, they told us that the family feels police are not putting enough attention to her disappearance.

Arelie Garcia's family to hold protest to bring awareness to her disappearance

A Salinas family has yet to give up hope in search of their loved one who has been reported missing since September. Her car was found in Big Sur with her cell phone inside the car.

Arelie Garcia's family said they started a website where people can donate in search efforts for her. They can also keep up with the latest information on her case.

The family tells KION they are planning a big protest for Dec. 9. The location will at 335 East Alisal Street in Salinas. Family, friends and community members will be protesting to help bring awareness to Areli's disappearance from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On Dec. 5, Cassidy's Pizza will hold a fundraiser from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., where a portion of profits will go to help fund searches for Arelie. The pizzeria is located at 1400 Freedom Boulevard in Watsonville.

VIDEO: Arelie Garcia's last appearance before going missing in Big Sur in Septemeber

UPDATE Nov. 23, 2022, at 3:07 p.m.- A Salinas family is looking for answers after Arelie Garcia went missing more than two months ago, leaving a noticeable empty plate this Thanksgiving.

Her family says they are constantly checking in with the police, and while they appreciate their efforts... They feel like more needs to be done. 

"We feel that a lot of the questions that we have, or a lot of the suggestions that we tell the department, are being dismissed. Our struggles," said a family spokesperson, Abby Gomez. "We feel we won't be silent anymore. We will speak up, and now if we feel we're not getting the support through the department, now, we're asking for the community for help."

The Salinas Police Department tells us it is in constant contact with the family. Police believe this is an "At-risk missing" person case because of where she dissipated and the fact it didn't look like she left her home in distress from the surveillance video.

Police tell KION that they've already interviewed 25 friends and family members. They have reviewed over 150 pages of case information hundreds of times but can't seem to find answers for the family.

Police say they're taking this case very seriously and that they wish they had positive news for the family, but they do not have any new leads.

They and the Monterey County Sheriff's Office have combed the area where her car was found in Big Sur multiple times. At this point, they feel their resources should not be used when there is a lack of evidence about where Arelie may be.

Arelie's family has a message for her if she's out there somewhere. Her mom misses her. Her sister misses her. They all love her and that they want her back home. If she's out there, know that she has not been forgotten. Know that they are praying for her safe return

The family is planning another big search party for Arelie. This one will be the biggest yet and will be in Salinas.

The family says, it's also considering a private agency to help in the search.

Arelie's family has started a gofundme to offer a cash reward and fund search efforts to help find any clue as to where she might have gone.

Family of Arelie Garcia starts fundraiser to aid in search for missing Salinas woman

SALINAS. Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE Nov. 22, 2022, at 4:07 a.m.- The family of Arelie Garcia has started a gofundme to help find answers to what happened to their beloved family member.

It's been two months to the day since Arelie went missing from her Salinas home and was never seen again. Her car was found in Big Sur with her cell phone inside the car.

The family is demanding answers and is growing more frustrated with Salinas Police for what they feel is a lack of transparency in Areli's case.

Salinas Police told KION they had exhausted their leads and needed the public's help searching for answers. KION has brought family concerns to the department and have yet to hear a response.

Arelie's family has started a gofundme to offer a cash reward and fund search efforts to help find any clue as to where she might have gone.

Arelie was last seen leaving her home on the 500 block of Roosevelt Street in Salinas in leggings and a hoodie. She is around 5'6, with brown eyes and dark brown hair.

Arelie Garcia's family holds protest outside Salinas Police Department asking for answers

UPDATE Nov. 21, 2022, at 11:27 a.m.- Family, friends and community members gathered outside the Salinas Police Department Sunday to once again ask for answers on what happened to a Salinas woman that went missing in late September.

Arelie Garcia left her home in Salinas on Sept. 22, and her car was later found in Big Sur with her phone inside. That was the last time friends and family got a clue about what may have happened to Arelie.

Two months later, Arelie's loved ones say they have not received an update on her case from Salinas Police, the lead investigators on her disappearance.

They protested so that their beloved family member isn't forgotten, and potentially someone who knows something comes forward with information.

Arelie Garcia's family asking for more support in search

Thursday, family and friends of Arelie Garcia gathered for the second time to search for any sign of the 25-year-old Salinas woman.

People participating met at Carmel Highlands General Store. Family members telling KION they are frustrated with Salinas Police and the lack of information they are being given about the investigation.

"We were supposed to get the support today, and they called us last minute that they weren't going to be able to show up," said family spokesperson Abby Gomez. "And I think that's where the frustration lays because we feel we don't have the support. I understand that there are other cases, but this case is also important to us. "

Family members also told KION that Arelie has a sweet and bubbly personality and that disappearing without a word is completely unlike her. 

We did reach out to Salinas Police with the family's concerns. We're waiting on a call from the detective who told the Garcia family he'd be there Thursday.

Salinas Police say they need the public's assistance in searching for Arelie. They do not have enough evidence gathered to know what exactly happened to her. For now, they will investigate her disappearance as a missing person case.

Arelie's car was found in the Big Sur Area with her cell phone in the car. The family tells us the coordinates given to them by police where they found her car are 41100-41432 CA-1, Big Sur, CA, 93920.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Salinas Police.

This article previously incorrectly stated that Salinas Police believe Areli Garcia did not take her own life. That was not accurate, as Salinas Police have no evidence to suggest what happened to her.

Another search planned for missing Salinas woman Arelie Garcia

UPDATE Oct. 26, 2022, at 11:27 p.m.- Dozens gathered at Closter Park Tuesday to bring awareness for Arelie Garcia.

She went missing over a month ago without a trace from her Salinas home. Police DO NOT believe she took her own life. Her car was found with her cell phone in Big Sur.

Police said they have stayed in touch with the family of Arelie but have no leads and need the public's help in finding her.

Another search party is planned for Thursday, October 27, beginning at 9 a.m. The group plans to meet up at the Carmel Highland General Store at 70-1 Carmel-by-the-Sea.

UPDATE Oct. 6, 2022, at 6:27 p.m.- It's been two weeks since a Salinas woman went missing.

Family and friends headed to Big Sur, still hoping to find her.

Salinas Police previously told us that 25-year-old Arelie Garcia is considered missing, and there are no indications that she took her own life.

Family and friends organized a search party for Garcia in Big Sur today. It was along that coast that Garcia's car was found with her belongings inside.

"We're all family and friends just trying to look for answers. it's been since the 22nd, and we don't know where she's at. we miss her and want her to come home," said Abby Gomez.

Some people familiar with the trails helped out trying to find her. State Parks were also on the scene this morning with friends and family of Garcia.

UPDATE Oct. 5, 2022, at 7:57 p.m.- A Salinas woman went missing around two weeks, and a search party is being made to try and find her Thursday morning.

Family and close friends have organized a search party to comb the Pfeiffer Campground in Big Sur. The search will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Anyone who can attend is asked to donate their time and help search for her.

Arelie Garcia considered missing by Salinas Police, disappearance seemed "wrong from the beginning"

It's been four days since 25-year-old Arelie Garcia was reported missing.

According to Public Information Officer Miguel Cabrera of Salinas PD, things seemed all wrong from the beginning when she was reported missing on Thursday.

“She had failed to show up for work on that day which is very unusual for her,” Officer Cabrera said. “She also left without saying anything to friends or family members.”

Read more: Police searching for missing Salinas woman

Information given to Salinas PD led them to search for Garcia in Big Sur. Her car was then discovered in the area with her belongings and a phone inside.

Cabrera added that at this point, the investigation is being handled as a missing person case. There are no indications that Garcia took her own life.

“Monterey County Sheriff's Office and their rescue team conducted a search of that area, and they were unsuccessful in finding Arelie,” Officer Cabrera said.

Investigators have spoken to friends and family to get as much information as possible, yet no one has provided information that can help detectives find her. 

Officer Cabrera stated that their focus is, “Obviously, our hope and our goal is to bring her home safely.”

Friends who work with her tell KION, Arelie's family is kindly asking for their privacy at this time as they’re still grieving and processing things. 

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23


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