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Rosa and her mother, Rosa Delgado, left their Hartford, Connecticut residence at approximately 5:00 p.m. to walk to a local store together and buy groceries, including milk and diapers. The store was in the 60 block of Madison Avenue; it has since been replaced by another establishment. Delgado left her five-month-old daughter at her home in the care of a sister when she left with Rosa. She had only about $10. A witness saw Rosa's father and Delgado's former boyfriend, Julio J. Camacho, speaking to them on a street corner in their Parkville area neighborhood prior to the females' disappearances. Rosa has never been seen again. Photos of both Julio and Delgado are posted below this case summary.
A woman's body was discovered floating in three feet of water in Columbia Lake in western New Jersey in November 1997, one month after Rosa and Delgado vanished. Her head and hands were missing. Authorities were initially unable to identify the homicide victim and named her "The Lady Of The Lake." The woman's identity remained a mystery until DNA tests were conducted in 1999, nearly two years later. The tests proved that the remains were Delgado's.
In November 1997, Julio asked the court to cancel his child support order for Rosa until DNA testing established paternity. He didn't mention that Rosa and her mother were missing. Delgado and Rosa lived with relatives, who stated Julio visited them at their apartment and also called them regularly prior to their disappearances, but the visits stopped as soon as the pair vanished and he never contacted her family to see if they'd heard from them.
Julio reportedly asked his brother to submit a false alibi for him after Rosa and Delgado disappeared. When authorities checked his car, they discovered the trunk liner was missing and the trunk bottom had been sanded down. They discovered a handmade hatchet, a wire garrote, two sawed-off shotguns inside Julio's residence during a search. There was no evidence of blood; the items were all very clean.
Rosa's disappearance and her mother's murder remain unsolved.
Left: Rosa Delgado, approximate date 1997;
Right: Julio Camacho, approximate date 2010