Tips on social media led a South Bay woman to the body of her sister, who had been missing since the first week of February, buried in the backyard of her home in Tijuana.
Erika Gonzalez reported her sister Fernanda, 32, missing to Mexican authorities and after three weeks with no leads, she took to social media to offer a reward for information leading to her discovery.
She says her body is found, but her sister’s death is a mystery.
"We were calling her phone and she didn't answer,” Erika said. She says lost contact with her sister February 3 and reported Fernanda’s disappearance two days later.
That same day, her brother-in-law, Fernanda's husband, showed up at UC San Diego Medical Center with an unexplained gunshot wound.
It wasn't until Erika offered a reward for information about her sister's whereabouts that witnesses came forward.
"We received calls from different people saying she was in the back of her house,” Erika said.
The tips indicated Fernanda was dead and that she was buried in the back yard of her Tijuana home. Some of the tips even said who killed her.
Police told the family they would search the property on Monday. Unwilling to wait, the family conducted a search of their own on Sunday and found Fernanda’s body buried right where tipsters said to look.
"It was hard but it was harder for my dad,” Erika said. “He started yelling.”
The Gonzalez family's actions got the Mexican authorities' full attention. They are investigating this as a homicide but releasing few details about the case, including Fernanda’s manner of death.
Police also told the Gonzalez family that they have a suspect in the case, but have not made an arrest.
Fernanda’s husband was treated and released from the hospital. He is a U.S. citizen and works in San Diego.