Sunday, March 17, 2024

The Disappearance of Arelie Garcia-Sanchez


Arelie Yeraldine Garcia-Sanchez has been missing since September 22nd, 2022. The then-25-year-old was last seen at her home in Salinas, California. Arelie left her residence shortly around 6:30 AM to go to work at a local Chevrolet dealership. She has never been seen again.

Arelie's final contact with family members occurred at 6:56 AM that morning, when she sent her sister Veronica a "good morning" text. She was due to get to work minutes after that message was sent, but she never arrived. Later that morning, Arelie's other sister, Elizet, received a call from Arelie's manager saying that she hadn't shown up to her job.

Both sisters then tried to get in touch with Arelie. After several unsuccessful attempts, they used the Find My iPhone app to track Arelie's phone. The app indicated that Arelie's phone last pinged in Big Sur - an area located an approximate hour's drive away from Salinas. Elizet and her husband decided to drive to that area, while Veronica stayed back and reported Arelie missing to the Salinas Police. 

Elizet and her husband eventually found Arelie's car parked along Highway 1 near the Little Sue River. The car was unlocked, and Arelie's phone and wallet were inside. The keys were still in the ignition. However, Arelie herself was nowhere to be found. 

A search is launched.

After investigators were notified about the discovery of Arelie's car, a search and rescue team scoured the surrounding area by drone, but nothing was found. The search and rescue team returned the following day and searched the area on foot with the assistance of a CHP airplane, but once again, nothing was found. 

Salinas Police Detective Edwin Cruz told reporters that another search was conducted days later, on October 2nd, 2022. According to Cruz, the area was searched "by SPD Detectives, MCSO Search and Rescue, a drone, and a trained cadaver dog," but no sign of Arelie was recovered.

The MCSO has reportedly conducted additional searches that ended unsuccessfully. Searches by Arelie's family have ended unsuccessfully as well. 

What happened to Arelie?


Arelie's fate remains unknown to this day. Her disappearance is both baffling and devastating to her loved ones. Arelie's sisters have maintained that it is uncharacteristic for her to leave without warning.

Prior to vanishing, Arelie loved spending time with her family, especially her young godson/nephew. She also had a passion for cars and enjoyed her job as a service writer at both MY Nissan Kia and MY Chevrolet in the Salinas Auto Mall. As such, it was immediately worrisome when Arelie's sister Elizet received the call that Arelie had not shown up at work on the morning of September 22nd, 2022 - as this was not in her nature at all. 

More about the morning of Arelie's disappearance.

Most reports state that Arelie left the Salinas, California apartment that she shared with her mother shortly after 6:30 AM on the morning of her disappearance. Surveillance cameras from the apartment building's parking lot captured her walking to her car, getting into it, and driving away. 

Arelie outside of her apartment building on the morning of her disappearance. (Source:

Based on the time Arelie left her residence, she should have arrived at work around 7:00 AM. However, it's worth noting that several reports mention that Arelie usually did not leave for work until 7:30 AM - a whole hour later than the time she left on the morning of her disappearance. It's unknown why she left early on this particular morning. It's also noted that Arelie did not appear to be dressed for work when she left that morning, either. 

Despite these circumstances, the message that Arelie sent her sister Veronica on the morning of her disappearance does not indicate that anything was unusual. The message reads, "Good morning :) I miss you & my baby, love you!" Timestamps indicate that the text was sent at 6:56 AM - just minutes before Arelie was due to arrive at work.

Texts between Arelie and Veronica. (Source:

The texts above indicate that Arelie did not reply to Veronica's response to the good morning text, nor did she respond to any subsequent messages. It's unknown what happened to Arelie after she sent that good morning text. What is known is that she did not show up for work, and that her car was later found about an hour's drive away.

Very few additional clues.

As mentioned earlier, Arelie's car was found unlocked and abandoned in the Big Sur area. Her wallet, phone, and keys were inside the car. Investigators stated that there were no indications of foul play in or around the vehicle - but extensive searches in the surrounding area did not yield any additional clues about what might have happened to Arelie. 

In an age where surveillance cameras are almost everywhere, it seems odd that Arelie could simply vanish without having been caught on camera. The only footage that investigators have been able to uncover - aside from the footage of Arelie leaving her residence - came from cameras outside of a general store. 

A detective told reporters that investigators "scanned footage and believe a vehicle matching [Arelie's] passed the Carmel Highlands General store -- about 40 minutes away from her apartment." Said route is reportedly consistent with the route where the car was later found in Big Sur. 

While all signs point to the car in the footage from the general store being Arelie's, it appears that this has never been officially confirmed. It's likely that the nature of the footage makes it difficult to identify the exact make and model of the car, and even more difficult to distinguish the car's driver. 

Since investigators determined that there were no signs of foul play when Arelie's car was found, it is unclear if they ever established any persons of interest in the case. There has been some online speculation that Arelie might have died by suicide, but her body has never been located - nor have any additional clues pointing to this theory. 

Where the case stands.

Arelie remains missing today. Her family members are still desperately hoping for answers.

There is a monetary reward available for anyone with information that could lead to Arelie's whereabouts. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact the Salinas Police Department at 831-775-4240.

Bring Arelie Home
California Department of Justice
Charley Project
The Disappeared Blog
KION 46 News
NBC News

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