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A Merced mom of 8 vanished three months ago. Police are still unraveling the mystery

Merced family ‘consumed’ by missing mother of eight

Ermelinda Alvarado has been missing since at least April 10, her husband, Jose Alvarado, said on Monday, April 22, 2019. The family is trying to raise money for a reward and to hire a private investigator to find the mother of eight.
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Ermelinda Alvarado has been missing since at least April 10, her husband, Jose Alvarado, said on Monday, April 22, 2019. The family is trying to raise money for a reward and to hire a private investigator to find the mother of eight.

Three months ago, a Merced man reported his wife missing and investigators still don’t know what happened to her.

Ermelinda Alvarado, a 33-year-old mother of eight, was reported missing on April 11, according to the Merced Police Department. Her husband, Jose, said he speaks regularly with detectives, but his wife’s disappearance remains a mystery.

“I wish I had an update or something but we’re still trying to get that first tip or sighting or something,” he said on Tuesday.

While her husband was in Texas on a trip, Alvarado rented a car, according to police. That red Hyundai Elantra was found abandoned on eastbound Highway 10 near Blythe, a small town on the California-Arizona border.

Her purse was found in the car but her cellphone was not, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Alvarado’s husband said he went to the location where the car was found, stopping at gas stations to ask people if they’d seen his wife. He described the area as a “pretty secluded” desert.

“I’m actively on social media trying to make sure it doesn’t get forgotten,” he said.

Alvarado’s husband took time off work to focus on his family but said he returned to work last week. The children, some of which are adopted, are trying to deal with the disappearance of their mother. They range in age from 6 to 23.

“We got two kids seeing counselors. It’s kind of one of those situations where we say, ‘We don’t know where your mom’s at. We’re just hoping for the best,’ ” he said. “My youngest one is the only one who (doesn’t understand). He asks for her more so it is kind of hard.”

A volunteer private investigation service even stepped in to try to help but to no avail, Alvarado said.

Police continue to investigate but didn’t have any new information on Alvarado on Wednesday, according to Merced Police Capt. Matt Williams.

Ermelinda Alvarado is 5-foot-4, about 100 pounds and has shoulder-length dark hair. She has braces and was last seen wearing a black hoodie, black pants and running shoes.

Jose Alvarado said people who have information on her whereabouts can call him directly at 209-756-9431.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call Sgt. Rey Alvarez at 209-388-7705. Tips can remain confidential and you can remain anonymous.

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Reporter Thaddeus Miller has covered cities in the central San Joaquin Valley since 2010, writing about everything from breaking news to government and police accountability. A native of Fresno, he has more recently been located in Merced and Los Banos.
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