When a pregnant woman and her six-year-old child mysteriously disappear, her husband becomes the prime suspect.

A young woman, Cecilia Newball, with long brown hair and earrings.

Missing: Cecilia Newball

Gender: Female
DOB: 11/20/61
Height: 4’11” to 5’
Weight: 94 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Remarks: Last seen 9/20/94

A young boy, Rene Perez, smiling.

Rene Perez, Jr.

Missing: Rene Perez Jr.

Gender: Male
DOB: 2/16/88
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown


After a passionate two-year courtship, Alfredo Newball and Cecilia Amaya got married. Cecilia’s son from a previous marriage, Rene Perez, was the ring bearer at their wedding. The couple started their new life together in Chatsworth, California, and almost immediately, Cecilia became pregnant.

A man in the driver seat of a car staring out his window at a maroon SUV parked across the street.

Cecelia’s car was outside of their parking lot

On September 20, 1994, with her due date only two weeks away, Cecilia sat down to write thank you notes for gifts from her baby shower. That day, as Alfredo left for work, he says he hesitated at the door for just a moment:

“Her being pregnant, she looked so beautiful and I went back and kissed her again. I left her sitting inside the apartment writing the thank you notes. And that was the last time that I saw my wife.”

Alfredo worked as a nurse’s assistant in a hospital and retirement home. Two-and-a-half-hours into his shift, he phoned Cecilia:

“I just had some kind of very weird feeling that something was wrong. But she never answered the phone, and for some reason, I thought she could be visiting with some friends or be at my mom’s.”

A man holding a birthday card and Cecilia's rings in his hands.

He found Cecelia’s rings in her car

Alfredo called several times throughout the evening. Concerned, he left work early. As he approached the apartment, he noticed that Cecilia’s car was parked on the street, instead of in the building’s secured lot. He rushed into their apartment in search of his wife and stepson. Inside, there were no signs of a break-in or struggle, but there were no signs of Cecilia and Rene either.

In the Jeep, Alfredo says he found a generic store-bought good-bye card. It was signed simply, “Cecilia.” Cecilia’s wedding and engagement rings had been left on the passenger seat. Shocked, Alfredo thought his wife had left him:

“The relationship was always good. We never had any problems or fights. Why would she do something like this? Not to leave me a note like that and to leave the wedding rings. It was very confusing to me.”

Alfredo phoned the one person he thought might know where she was, her closest friend at work, Kevin Annabel. It was this phone call that first cast suspicion on Alfredo. When Kevin answered the call, Alfredo questioned whether Cecilia was there:

“And I was like, ‘Al, she’s not here, and you’re really starting to scare me.’ And he was unusually calm. If it were me, I would be screaming at the person I thought where my wife was. But I was more nervous and excited than he was.”

A hand is picking up a beige house phone.

She had received strange calls

Alfredo said he remained calm because he thought his wife would return to him:

“I felt like she needed to be away for a few days or something, I don’t know. It was very strange, but I believed that she was coming back soon.”

The day after Cecilia disappeared, the police called Alfredo. They had been contacted by one of Cecilia’s relatives. Det. Alex Valadez of the Los Angeles Police Department took on the missing person’s case and found Alfredo’s conduct on the phone strange:

“Mr. Newball didn’t appear to be that concerned. And here he has an eight-and-a-half-month pregnant wife and a six year-old stepson that, according to everyone including Mr. Newball, all got along fine. Mr. Newball just didn’t appear to be the grieving soon-to-be new father.”

Three days later, suspicion increased when Alfredo received a letter postmarked in nearby Van Nuys, California. Inside the envelope was a card identical to the one Alfredo had found in Cecilia’s car. There was also a typewritten note from Cecilia explaining that she had gone to Honduras with another man, a doctor named Arturo. The note said that she had fallen in love with Arturo nine months earlier, and it was possible he was the father of her unborn child. Alfredo’s first impression was that his wife had indeed left him:

“But then, after reviewing the letter several times, some parts don’t sound like Cecilia. It doesn’t strike me as Cecilia at all.”

Kevin Annabel also found the letter out of character:

“I would say she was almost obsessed with Al. And when you’re that in love with a person, you don’t just meet a doctor and say, ‘Well, I think I’m going to Honduras. Let me just write my husband a note.’ That doesn’t happen.”

Two hands holding a letter in the light, the writing is ineligible.

Was this letter from Cecilia?

After examining the letter and speaking with her friends and family, Det. Valadez was convinced that the letter was not from Cecilia:

“Whoever typed this letter knew more about Alfredo’s side of the family rather than knowing very much about Cecilia’s side of the family. My best guess on this is that Cecilia’s disappearance is not by her will. I believe there’s a third party involved in this.”

In fact, six months before she disappeared, Cecilia received an odd phone call from a still unidentified woman, who may have been that third party. Cecilia told her friend Cammy Giacomi about it:

“She had gotten a call that a woman had a videotape of Al kissing another woman at a baby shower. The woman wanted Cecilia to see the tape and Cecilia had agreed to see it.”

The woman said she would phone again to arrange a meeting. But that call never came, and the matter was apparently forgotten. Then, just a few weeks before Cecilia disappeared, she got another mysterious call. This one was from a woman who claimed to work with Alfredo. Again, Cecilia confided in her friend, Cammy:

“A woman had called and said that they were going to give Al a baby shower at work. She said that she had some baby furniture and she wanted Cecilia to pick out a piece of that furniture but to keep it a secret because the shower was going to be a surprise.”

Police later learned that the call had not been made by Alfredo’s co-worker and that a baby shower had not been planned. But by then, it was too late. According to Cammy, Cecilia disappeared the same day she was supposed to meet with the lady who called about the baby shower. Det. Valadez is convinced that this is not a coincidence and still questions Alfredo’s behavior:

“It appears that someone is trying to lure her away from safety, away from her family, away from her friends, trying to get her alone. It’s my opinion that Mr. Newball is not telling me everything that he knows. As far as Cecilia’s disappearance, he may not have been there when she disappeared, but it’s my opinion that he knows something now.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Steve

    Alfredo was having an affair with 2 women during 94 because he didn’t like his wife’s new body. They also weren’t intimate because of her pregnancy complications so he had affairs. He killed his wife so he could date, one of his lovers killed her to have Alfredo all to herself or she found out about Alfredo’s affairs and left.


  2. Jim Miller

    Without a body no one will never know what happened to them unless they magically reappear somewhere but it would be pretty heartless to murder a pregnant woman and her small child in cold blood for whatever reason..


  3. Anonymous

    Very sinister. Women are the worst killers. Lisa Marie Montgomery. (Deadly women is a good documentary about female killers. They profiled her.) Those types of killings are very common. And I predict they will become even more common with the increasing amount of women getting sterilized because Roe verses Wade being overturned. Taylor Parker is already an example of those types of killers. I wish it was a short list of a rare crime. But unfortunately it is a very common crime. If you have seen one case you have seen them all. The other lady just wanted her alone and away from her husband. That is my theory unless I see something contradictory.


  4. Anonymous

    Her entire family believes Alfredo did it. One day, there will be justice. You won’t get away with this forever Alfredo. Marca mis palabras.


  5. Annoynomous

    It sounds like another Scott Peterson or Chris Watts case


  6. PJ

    no need to look too far for the suspect. Yup u guessed it!


  7. Charles

    The detective was convinced that Alfredo knew more than he was telling but I am not so sure. The phone call about the fake baby shower adds an entirely different theory to the situation: I feel as if she was abducted because some individual wanted her baby. The note, the card that her husband found–all of this was planned to shift the focus elsewhere.


  8. Waiting for update

    What are the updates on this case? It’s sad that this never got the attention Lacey Peterson got considering her 6 year old son was also missing . Why aren’t police doing anything for this “cold case” with all the technology of today? I don’t understand….



      Unsolved. Investigators later determined that Alfredo was having an extra-marital affair around the time of Cecilia and Rene’s disappearance. He is considered a person of interest in the case.


  9. Sandy

    Sounds like another Scott Peterson case


    • Anonymous

      Scott Peterson was on Viagra. Some men on that turn into monsters. I want to be careful. He could still be found not guilty and released. But when he said his wife moped the floor. He was just explaining evidence he thought was found. (Like a kid copying the back of a book for a book report.) The police never found any blood on the floor. Or tested any mops for blood. They missed golden evidence collecting.


  10. harold

    Have the police ever subpoenaed the phone records to find out where the phone calls were from. Or check letter for fingerprints? (not to mention finding a store around there that sold those greeting cards to see if the salesperson remembers anyone purchasing 2 of the same card.
    My thought is that someone wanted her baby and lured her somewhere to kill her and take her baby. What happened to Rene…do not know….but I would think maybe he was killed also.


    • Anonymous

      DNA could solve the case. The unborn child is now 19 years old. They should put Alfredos DNA in the national database. He may get lucky. There are many DNA ancestry websites. (All it takes is one match. It not only will reunite. It will even solve two possible homicides.)


  11. Anonymous

    07-01365 Unidentified Remains/Homicide
    Female, Asian, Native American, or Hispanic
    On January 27, 2007, human remains were discovered near the North Fork Bridge of the Skagit River on Fir Island, in the southern area of Skagit County.

    An examination of the remains was completed and the deceased was determined to be: female, Asian, Native American, or Hispanic descent; 24-46 years old; 4’11”-5’4″; shoulder length dark hair; appearing very small in stature. Teeth were also located and examined so dental records are on file. It is believed the time of death was approximately August-September 2006.

    Clothing recovered includes:
    -Black “Faded Glory”, size 10, tall jeans, rolled up several times
    -Chocolate colored “Faded Glory” sweater w/white stripes with attached
    White collar
    -“Nevado” boots, US child’s size 5 or women’s size 6.5
    -“Playtex” 36B white bra
    -white, nylon, control top women’s brief underwear

    The woman was wearing the following necklace:


  12. thinkingoutloud

    I don’t think she ran off with another man. The letters weren’t even handwritten or signed by Cecilia aka she wasn’t alive to write them herself. Also all the letters had more knowledge on Al’s side of the family aka someone close to Al even Al himself wrote the letters since they had more knowledge. It’s hard to say if the phone calls from a mysterious caller very genuine to Ceclia, if a woman was really calling to tell about AL cheating or if it was setup by Al to get Cecilia alone to kill her. Weird he was so calm, that his pregnant wife with a due date of 2 weeks never reached out to him, evemn if he thought she was with friends or family it’s strange he didn’t follow up


  13. Anonymous

    Okay , I’ve seen a man that looks just like that here . In atl but he looks more older than 20 . I’ve just seen the tv on this . And the guy goes by Jorge V . I don’t know about the mother . I’ve seen him already it just popped up and I just recognized his face. I’m 14 . And I see him almost every day at the Aldis . The store right across from me . You probably found him or I just seen him before . And didn’t really know him . I just know I’ve seen his face before and I talked to him before


    • Anonymous

      You must’ve seen an old episode or read an outdated resource. The son was born in 1988, he’s be 26/27 now.


  14. Laura Allen

    Could remains be found Cecila August 11,1999 Oceanside composite of remains sure look like her.


    • unsolved

      Hi Laura – according to the NAMUS entry for that Jane Doe, she was between 15 and 25 years old, and Cecilia was 33 at the time of her disappearance.


  15. Tammy Leopin

    This was also on Ancestry.com

    Cecilia Elizabeth Newball
    in the U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current

    Go to website
    Want to get involved? Click here!
    Report issue
    Name: Cecilia Elizabeth Newball
    Birth Date: 20 Nov 1961
    Birth Place: El Salvador
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1994
    Death Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
    Has Bio?: Y
    Children: Rene Perez Jr
    URL: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-


  16. Joy Robinson

    call the police if you have same them are him


  17. Joy Robinson

    And try to think you want your wife


  18. Joy Robinson

    have you try to think of neighbor are anyone or your friend avril said that they want your are neighbor talk look at them so much that want them have you thought of it


  19. Dave

    Has anyone ever seen this woman before? She would have a son who is over 27.
    I wonder how old Cecilia would be right now.


  20. J. Taylor

    This looks like my next door neighbor on cortez drive in Orlando. There are more younger children now but the older boy drives and appears to be in his 20’S.


  21. Concerned

    From a reliable source he was having an affair with a female named Farrah


    • LMC

      That Source must be very reliable, because I just looked up his name, and that name and his name, Share an address together. Also, a female and she’s 25 years old that’s strange


      • Ali Jalil

        Not strange at all if he went on to make a life with Farrah and had a child with her! That would be the age of the child now


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