Public’s Help Sought in Search for Missing Woman
The family and friends of Margarita Stephens and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Division are asking for the public’s help to locate Stephens.
On May 4, friends became concerned as they had not seen or heard from Stephens in the past three days. They contacted the police to conduct a welfare check. Friends reported that Stephens’ phone, which she normally always answered, went straight to voicemail which was concerning. Additionally, Stephens had not reported to work for the past week. Given these unusual circumstances, Stephens’ friends feared for her safety and felt she was in grave danger.
Foothill officers conducted a welfare check at Stephens’ residence in the 10200 block of Samoa Avenue in Tujunga, and were unable to locate Stephens or her son.
The apartment manager reportedly last saw her on Thursday, May 3 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Police found that Stephens’ vehicle was also missing.
Upon further investigation, detectives discovered that Stephens’ son, Jose Perez, had a past history of mental illness and threatening his mother. Perez had recently been arrested and convicted for criminal threats against Stephens, and he had just been released from a mental facility a week prior for these charges.
Investigators have obtained evidence from Stephens’ phone-locator that indicated on May 3 at about 9 p.m., Stephens and Perez may have been traveling in the area of Angeles Crest Highway in the city of La Cañada and in the area of Angeles National Forest. Given these disturbing circumstances, investigators fear Stephens may have been taken against her will by Perez.
Stephens and Perez may be driving in her silver color 2009 Toyota Corolla 4-door, license number 6HDR215.
Stephens is described as a female Puerto Rican with black hair, brown eyes, and 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds with an average build, and medium complexion. She has a tattoo of a bracelet on her right ankle.
Jose Perez is described as a 28-year-old male Puerto Rican with black hair, brown eyes, stands about 6 feet tall, and weighs 210 pounds.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Stephens is urged to contact Foothill Community Police Station at (818) 756-8861. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.