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Perez was last seen in Seattle, Washington on March 5, 2011. She left her home in the Ranier Beach area en route to the campus of the University of Washington, where she was a freshman, but she apparently never arrived there. She was last seen at the Safeway store on Brooklyn Avenue northeast in the University District between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. She bought orange juice, trash bags, Tylenol and over-the-counter sleeping medication, left the store and has never been heard from again. The last activity on her cellular phone was when a text message was sent to her at 2:45 p.m. The phone pinged off a tower at 47th Avenue Northeast at the time. After that the phone was turned off; it has never been recovered.
It's uncharacteristic of her to leave of Perez own accord, and she didn't leave behind a note. Her parents live in New Jersey; she is an only child and was close to them. She lived with her aunt and uncle at the time of her disappearance; she'd moved in with them when she enrolled in college. Perez had recently broken up with her boyfriend and was distressed about it, and a private investigator hired by her family believes she committed suicide, but her parents said she seemed happy in the days prior to her disappearance and they don't believe she was suicidal.
Perez's cousin is Michelle Malkin, a noted conservative journalist and author. Her disappearance remains unsolved.