Cheryl Lynn Vasquez
Vasquez, approximately 1987; David Wood
Date reported missing : 06/28/1987
Missing location (approx) :
El Paso, Texas
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 03/03/1968 (53)
Age at the time of disappearance: 19 years old
Height / Weight : 5'6 - 5'9, 110 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A white t-shirt imprinted with a design of small cartoon characters, new blue jeans and possibly white slip-on sandals or high-top sneakers.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Vasquez's ears are pierced. She may use the last names Dismukes and/or Vasquez-Dismukes.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Vasquez was last seen at 9:22 p.m. on June 28, 1987 in El Paso, Texas. She was at the Circle K Store in the 10600 block of McCombs Street at the time of her disappearance. She had gone there to buy cigarettes for a friend and was last seen talking to an acquaintance, David Leonard Wood, in the store parking lot. Vasquez has never been heard from again.
That same year, several other females disappeared from El Paso, and most of them were later found murdered and buried in the desert. The victims were all small, slender young women in their teens and early twenties. Vasquez and two other females, Melissa Alaniz and Marjorie Knox, are still missing. Vasquez had previously attended H.E. Charles Junior High School, the same school Melissa and one of the other victims attended when they disappeared, and the victim who was Melissa's classmate also knew Marjorie.
Wood is a serial rapist who was paroled in January 1987, was later convicted of murdering six of the El Paso victims, though he maintains his innocence to this day. He was sentenced to death in 1993, but his sentence remains under appeal, as his lawyers allege he is mentally retarded.
The murders of El Paso girls and women stopped after Wood's October 1987 arrest for rape. He has not been charged in connection with Vasquez's case and it's unclear whether he was involved. A photo of Wood is posted with this case summary.
A week before she vanished, Vasquez married Robert Dismukes by proxy. He was serving a prison sentence for burglary and attempted murder at the time; in 1982, when he was eighteen, Dismukes was part of a criminal gang charged with over 30 break-ins in the El Paso area. Vasquez's loved ones don't know why she married him and speculated she may have been trying to help him avoid deportation. He now lives in Germany.
At the time of her disappearance, Vasquez worked at a fast food restaurant on Dyer Street and at the Matador Plastics factory in northeast El Paso. Dismukes's mother-in-law claims she knows people who saw her alive after her disappearance, but police believe foul play was involved in her case and Wood was responsible. Her disappearance remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
El Paso Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
Texas Department of Public Safety
The Doe Network
The Serial Killer Crime Index
The Austin American-Statesman
The Houston Chronicle
The Las Cruces Sun-News
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The El Paso Times