SALINAS, Calif.- 37-year-old Rafael Carballo, also known as "Rafa", is on the run. Salinas Police are looking for him in connection to the disappearance of a Central Coast woman who had just gone grocery shopping with her uncle-the last family member to see her. They said then she decided to give Rafael a ride. Police believe he killed her.
It's new information on the story that started as a missing persons case. Now police think she may be dead, but still haven't found her body. In fact, all they have, is her photo and her car. So we hit the streets of Salinas to find out more about the twists and turns of this investigation.
Salinas Police said what started as a missing persons case for both Leticia Morales-Soto and Rafael Carballo, has now taken a deadly turn. Police have talked to both Rafael and Leticia's family members. Initially police said Rafael reported being attacked the day after Thanksgiving at Natividad Creek Park.
A few hours after that Leticia's husband called police to report her missing, since Thanksgiving Day. Police said her husband found her car abandoned and unlocked at the dead end of Garner Street. Officers found evidence in her car, and said Leticia's husband took them to "Rafa's" house. That's when one of the officers noticed familiar faces-family members with Rafael, from earlier in the day when he filed his assault report at the police station.
Investigators couldn't get specific but tell us those conversations and the evidence in Leticia's car connected the dots to murder. That launched two search efforts at Natividad Creek Park for Leticia's body, using cadaver dogs. Neither search turned up any evidence.
So we decided to go back to the neighborhood, to see if anyone recognized their pictures. After knocking on several doors, no one seemed to know her. We also checked an address for Rafael, but no one came to the door. Police said both families have been cooperative and there doesn't seem to be any animosity between the two families. It's unclear how Leticia and Rafael know each other right now.
Investigators contacted border patrol agents because they think Rafael could be in Mexico, and hope they haven't missed they're chance. Police said the two were just acquaintances and it wasn't out of the ordinary for Rafael to catch a ride with Leticia.
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