On December 1, 2013, following a dispute with her boyfriend, Osman Galicia-Escobedo, 47-year-old Margarita Gonzalez-Almazan was reported missing from her Bluffton residence by family members.
Signs of a struggle were observed in the residence and her mobile telephone was found on the side of the road on U.S. 170 near the Lemon Island Bridge. In addition, Escobedo and Almazan’s vehicles were both missing. Early in the investigation, it was apparent that foul play was involved in Almazan’s disappearance.
According to witnesses, Escobedo was seen in Savannah several hours after Almazan disappeared. The same witnesses observed what appeared to be fingernail scratches on the side of Escobedo’s face.
Those same witnesses reported that Escobedo was trying to flee the country, as he purchased a ticket at the Savannah Airport to Guatemala. That information was quickly followed up on and it was learned that Escobedo never got on that flight.
Several days later after Almazan’s disappearance, her vehicle was found near the the Keller Flea Market in Savannah, which was within a few miles of where witnesses reported seeing Escobedo.
Almazan’s vehicle was processed for forensic evidence, but did not reveal any information that would lead to her or Escobedo’s whereabouts.
As it is believed the 40-year-old Escobedo traveled back to his home country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation coordinated with authorities in Guatemala to locate Escobedo, but efforts were unsuccessful.