Lopez-Escobar, approximately 2012; Green Jeep Cherokee; Sar I
Date reported missing : 03/23/2012
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 12/30/1982 (38)
Age at the time of disappearance: 29 years old
Height / Weight : 5'0 - 5'2, 155 - 165 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Hispanic female. Black hair, brown eyes. Lopez-Escobar's ears are pierced.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Lopez-Escobar was last seen at a co-worker's apartment in the 1700 block of Peasant Run west in Columbus, Ohio at 10:00 a.m. on March 23, 2012. She was driving a green 1996 Jeep Cherokee with a beige interior, black rims and the Ohio license plate number FLT6869.
She has never been heard from again. She was reported missing after she stopped showing up for work at American Corrugated Products on Alkire Road; she'd been working there for six months and had a reputation as a dependable employee.
Lopez-Escobar was born in a remote area near the city of Tapachula, Mexico, which is on the border with Guatemala. She's a naturalized American citizen who'd been living in the United States for several years by 2012. Her two young sons were being cared for by her relatives in Mexico.
Lopez-Escobar has no family members living near her, but she kept in regular touch with her family in Mexico and sent them money regularly. All contact with them stopped after March 23.
Lopez-Escobar was last seen in the company of Sar I, a co-worker who had worked at American Corrugated Products for twelve years. He was born in Cambodia; I is a common last name in that country. I dropped out of sight in early April. In May 2012, he was charged with murder, kidnapping and gross abuse of a corpse in Lopez-Escobar's case.
Investigators stated evidence at his apartment, including blood matching Lopez-Escobar's DNA, indicated she had been killed there. According to one of her friends, she and I had been dating at one time, but Lopez-Escobar had ended the relationship and I had been stalking her before her disappearance.
I was still at large at the time he was charged, and wasn't arrested until November 2013, when he was apprehended in Janesville, Wisconsin. He confessed to the murder after his arrest, stating he'd beaten Lopez-Escobar with a marble bowl and then tied a plastic bag around her neck and suffocated her.
A photo of I is posted with this case summary. He stated he dismembered the body and disposed of it in various trash bins in the Columbus area. I pleaded guilty to murder and evidence tampering and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 18 years. If he is ever released, he will probably be deported back to Cambodia.
Foul play is suspected in Lopez-Escobar's disappearance due to the circumstances involved. A photo of a Jeep similar to her missing vehicle is posted below this case summary.
Other information and links : ncy
Columbus Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
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 Columbus Dispatch
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Ohio Attorney General's Office