Jose Francisco Fuentes Pereira

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3 AP
Top Row and Bottom Left: Jose, circa 1993;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 23 (circa 2009)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: December 7, 1993 from San Ysidro, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 10, 1986
  • Age: 7 years old
  • Height and Weight: 3'4 - 4'0, 60 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Black/brown hair, hazel/green eyes. Jose has multiple long scars on his forehead. His nickname is Paquito.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Jose was born in El Salvador. His mother moved to the United States in the late 1980s, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents. He lived in a remote village and never attended school. In December 1993, he, his sister, his two teenage brothers and his aunt were attempting to illegally enter the United States to join his mother. As part of a large group, they traveled 2,000 miles north to northern Mexico and crossed over in a remote desert area in southern California, near San Ysidro. Just after everyone had slipped under the border fence, someone yelled "policia" and the group scattered, and Jose became separated from his family. After everyone had gotten together again, he was missing. The people who had smuggled his family over the border took them to a "safe house," then went back to search for the child. He has never been found.

    According to his relatives, Jose does not know his date of birth or his last name, and he may not know his real first name, because everyone he knew addressed him by the nickname Paquito. It is not even clear exactly where he disappeared at. Many people try to cross the U.S./Mexico border in remote desert areas to avoid detection, but the conditions are treacherous and migrants die of exposure every year. It's not clear if that happened to Jose, however. Some agencies classify him as a runaway and state he may be in New York State. His case remains unsolved and American authorities are investigating.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    San Diego Police Department
    619-424-0438

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    California Attorney General's Office
    New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
    CNN
    NamUs
    Child Quest International Inc.

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    Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated February 4, 2011; distinguishing characteristics updated.

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