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

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

Rene Perez, Jr.

Missing: Rene Perez Jr.

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

CASE DETAILS

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.

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.”

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.”  

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.”  

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.

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12 Comments

  1. 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

    Reply

  2. 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

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  3. Laura Allen

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

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  4. 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-

    Reply

  5. Joy Robinson

    call the police if you have same them are him

    Reply

  6. Joy Robinson

    And try to think you want your wife

    Reply

  7. 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

    Reply

  8. 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.

    Reply

  9. 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.

    Reply

  10. Concerned

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

    Reply