Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Odessa Police Department Identifies Missing Person in 1984 Case

Odessa Police Department
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 19: Crime scene tape is stretched across the front of Santa Fe High School on May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. Yesterday morning, 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered the school with a shotgun and a pistol and opened fire, killing at least 10 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Odessa Police Department has made progress in the search for 39-year-old Maria Faye Mendez, who went missing in 1984. 

Mendez’s family reported her missing after not returning home in the 2400 block of West 10th Street.

Odessa Police Department

The Odessa Police Department has made a breakthrough in a 1984 missing person case involving 39-year-old Maria Faye Mendez. (Photo by Law and Crime)

NewsWest9 reported that Odessa Police Department detectives searched the 39-year-old’s area, but the case immediately went cold. 

Six years later, a skull was discovered 45 minutes away in Crane County. Investigators were unable to identify the remains at the time, though.

The Odessa Police Department and the Crane County Sheriff’s Offices submitted the bones for anthropological study and DNA testing, but once again there was no match.

READ ALSO: Shooting Suspect Kills 5, Including 8-Year-Old, Inside Home in Texas

Odessa Police Department

Law and Crime reported that the Odessa Police Department could not match the DNA sample to the initial remains until 2022, when they got samples from a Mendez family. 

The University of North Texas Center for Human Identifications’ lab staff and researchers determined in January 2023 that the skull discovered in Crane County was in fact Mendez’s.

The Texas Rangers, Ms. Mendez’s family, and the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification are all acknowledged by the Odessa Police Department for their assistance during this lengthy inquiry.


The inquiry has now been escalated to a homicide. Anyone with information that could result in an arrest is encouraged to contact Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS or Odessa Police Department at 432-335-3333. 

READ ALSO: Doorbell Prank Leads to Murder of 3 Teenagers After Suspect Rams into Their Vehicle in California

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *