Something in this case just isn’t right and I can’t put my finger on it right now. The most important thing about right now is that a mother and her toddler are missing and need to be found.
Benito Cervantes Mena was out of town in New Mexico and received a call on Friday morning from an unidentified man demanding what some news sites claim was $100,000. According to the caller Mena’s wife and three-year-old daughter had been abducted and the only way to get them back was to pay up. Rather than call police Mena just went home where he found the house broken in to and robbed. According to several of the reports I have read Liliana Beatrice Iboa and her daughter Karen Bianay Cervantes have been missing for several days. Mena called police on Friday night and said that he didn’t report it sooner because he was afriad that his family would be harmed.
The police are not referring to Mena as a suspect or lead in the case which may or may not be just what they are currently telling the media.
Mena and Iboa have been in their house in Avondale, Arizona for about a week now. They were seperated for the last year and she was living with her parents near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mena showed up at their house on November 2nd and Liliana and Karen left with him, I guess to their new home in Avondale.
Iboa has disappeared before. Iboa and Cervantes have dated for at least five years now. In August of 2003 Liliana Iboa vanished after working an evening shift at a Mexican restaurant in Springfield Oregon. She was missing for about a month and her family thought that Benito had kidnapped her against her will. She was reported as a runaway that night and about a month later she called her parents crying but got disconnected before she could give them any information of value. A month after that Liliana herself called a Springfield detective and told him that she was safe and had runaway with Mena because her parents didn’t approve of him.
The last time Mara Iboa heard from her daughter was on November 6th, which is really interesting because Mena claims that she had been missing for several days when he called police on the 7th.
I’ve got several questions about this case and unfortunately nothing I’ve read has been able to answer them.
1. What does Benito Mena do for a living?
2. Why was he in New Mexico when they went missing?
3. Is it possible that she has just run away again? Her family doesn’t seem to think so (from interviews) but it is a possibility.
4. Liliana’s parents didn’t like Mena because he had a bad reputation. What type of reputation? Drugs. criminal activity, or were they just being concerned but jealous parents?
5. Kidnapping for ransom is nothing new around the world. It’s still quite common in Mexico and while not an everyday occurrence in the United States it’s certainly not unheard of. Generally speaking though when someone is kidnapped for ransom the kidnappers don’t just blindly kidnap a person. They kidnap because they want something, money, political gain, revenge, etc. People that kidnap for ransom generally are smart enough to know when someone can pay that kind of ransom. Does Benito have the capability to come up with $100,000?
Updated – It took me awhile but I finally found Liliana’s MySpace page after finding some possible relatives of hers. http://www.myspace.com/inquietadzacatecas is the page. Actually it may not be her page at all since there are several with the same info. I’ll update this as I come across more info. It would help if I could read Spanish as there are at least six profiles on MySpace with her missing persons information.
Update 2 – Police are asking the public for their help in finding Liliana and Karen. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Avondale Police Department at 623-333-7001 or the Silent Witness Hotline at 480-WITNESS (948-6377)
Update 3 – November 11th 8:31pm: Jamie commented here earlier that Liliana and Karen had been released. Unfortunately I have just gotten home from work and this is the first chance I have had to post the update. The Avondale Police released the following statement earlier today:
AVONDALE — An abducted Avondale woman and her 3-year-old have been found, according to police. Liliana Beatrice Iboa, 20, and Karen Bianay Cervantes, 3, were released by their captors shortly before midnight last night. According to reports, they were taken from an undisclosed location and dropped off in north Phoenix. Iboa stopped a passerby who assisted her in contacting police.
Iboa’s husband reported them missing on Nov. 7 when he returned from out of town to discover that his house had been broken into. A caller contacted him stating that he had his wife and daughter, and demanded money for their release. Avondale police worked with other agencies on this kidnapping case after being notified on Saturday night.
“We are relieved that both mother and child are safe and unharmed,” said Avondale Lt. Memo Espinoza. “Details of this case will be released as soon as the investigation is wrapped up.”