In this Special Edition of Missing Person Monday I have the pleasure of covering the Disappearance of San Antonio native, Maria Jesus Llamas. Me also being from the San Antonio area, I feel the overwhelming need to tell her story and do whatever I can to keep her face in the public eye.
Earlier this year, I moved to San Antonio Texas to continue my education at Texas A&M University San Antonio. Since moving to San Antonio I have accustomed to the vastly prevalent, rich cultural life that consumes the Alamo City. More than just a place to call home, San Antonio, Texas sits just on the edge of the Texas Hill Country offering a unique Texas view. Despite the happiness and friendliness associated with San Antonio, beneath the surface lies mysteries waiting to be solved. This is the case for the family of Maria Jesus Llamas, a woman who disappeared from a San Antonio area Flea Market in 2016, and has not been seen since.
November 20th, 2016 began as any other, Maria Jesus Llamas, who also goes by “Yeya”, and her husband strolled the Poteet Flea Market just outside the San Antonio Texas area. Maria, who has history of sometimes wandering off but is always found within a few hours, also suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, also known as senile dementia, is a degenerative disease that deteriorates memory and other imperative cognitive functions. According to UnityHealthcare.com Alzheimer’s disease approximately affects 1 in every 2 families in the United States. With no cure for Alzheimer’s, this progressive disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. What is not included in those statistics, is the other tragic factors that come with Alzheimer’s disease and this is the case for Maria Jesus Llamas.
Attending the flea Market was a normal pastime for the Llamas. However, on this day, Maria became increasingly distraught by the music playing overhead. Asking her husband if they can leave, they made their way towards the exit of the Flea Market. As they are making their way out of the flea market Maria’s husband stops to look at a display that catches his eye. When he turned around, Maria was gone.
As Margie Llamas folded laundry, she received a phone call that would change all of the Llamas family as they knew it, pushing them into a fight for answers that would last 4 years. Expecting to receive plans for Sunday dinner, Margie hears the words no daughter prepares for, your mother is missing. Hours turned into days, days turned into months, and months turned into years as the family of Maria Jesus Llamas desperately search for answers.
“We don’t sleep and we pray more than we have ever prayed,” wrote Margie Llamas in a 2019 Facebook Post on the 3rd year anniversary of Maria's disappearance.
Surveillance video at the Poteet Flea Market captured Maria walking out of a different exit from her husband, going through the parking lot, and approaching the entrance gate of the highway. Marie’s family wasn’t aware she had even left the flea market until they saw the surveillance video. Countless searches were conducted, and thousands of flyers were hung up, all to no avail. 3 weeks later, there is a break in the case.
On December 10th, 2016 a search group covering the Leon creek near the Poteet Flea Market discover Maria’s purse wrapped around a tree branch. Maria’s daughter, Margie, told Dateline “Her purse was found after we had an unusually high amount of rain, so the creek overflowed. After that was found, we searched the areas all around that creek hoping to find something more. But we didn’t.”
This discovery immediately prompts the family of Maria to assume the worst. Maria’s degenerating disease was taking a toll on her and was making her think she was young again - that she was living on her parent's farm in rural Mexico, even though they had passed almost a decade prior. Maria could have possibly wandered away in search for her parents in Mexico.
Several unconfirmed sightings have been reported to be Maria, however, the only confirmed sighting is from a woman who had a flat tire on the highway just outside the Poteet Flea Market. She reported that she saw a woman who appeared disoriented and confused and that the woman told her “God was guiding her home.” The woman attempted to alert a police officer about the dazed woman, but the woman wandered out of her sight.
Maria Jesus Llamas was 69 at the time of her disappearance and would now be 73 years old . Llamas is a Hispanic female with graying brown hair, she wears eyeglasses and speaks only Spanish. Llamas also has a vaccination scar on her right arm and a mole on the left side of her upper lip. Her ears are also pierced and wears upper and lower dentures. Llamas also goes by the nickname "yeya"
At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a black wool coat, a black and white blouse, black shoes, black pants, a silver necklace and was also carrying a cross body handbag.
Please report any information regarding the Disappearnce of Maria Jesus Llamas no matter how minuscule to the San Antonio Police Department at 210-207-7660 or call 210-739-9889. You can also visit the Help Find Maria Jesus Llamas Facebook Page to receive more information about her disappearnce.