Missing: Not home for the holidays

With Christmas around the corner, it is important to remember not everyone has a Happy Holiday season.  

This Christmas four Atascosa families are still searching for their loved ones.  Missing from the county are Greg Cisnero, Michelle Longoria Villarreal, Eric Garcia and Ramiro Garcia.  

 

This is the second part of our story. 

Eric Garcia 

Eric Garcia, 38, of Poteet has been missing since May 18, 2016. Garcia’s aunt, Angelica Amezquita, and other family members have hope their loved one will return. 

“He would usually go home, get his food, eat and then take off walking again. He didn’t ever go missing for days at a time because he didn’t have money or a car,” said Amezquita. “He didn’t just do that, so we knew something was wrong.”

On the last day Garcia was seen, his mother saw him leave his home but never saw him return. When Garcia would return home, he would typically leave the light on, however, the light was left off when he hadn’t returned home. Amezquita said they immediately reported Garcia’s disappearance and instantly began searching for him and posting flyers. A few people they questioned said they saw him around the Poteet area, but there weren’t any solid leads on his whereabouts. To his family’s knowledge, Garcia wasn’t affiliated with any gangs or involved in gang activity.

“In the first couple of weeks when he went missing my nephews, my brothers—we went to dirt roads, under bridges. They went to the Medina River and went everywhere on Highway 16. We went all over Leal Rd. just looking,” said Amezquita.

As a family, it’s greatly affected them all, but Amezquita says it’s made them stronger as a whole and they continue to be strong for one another. She says it’s been important for her to stay strong for her sister. It takes a toll on individuals experiencing a situation such as this one. It’s tough for families to move forward, but they trudge on and keep going.

“It’s crazy because you see all of these people missing. You hear of them missing and you don’t hear of any updates or anything else. It seems like they’ve fallen off the earth already and nobody puts anything out there,” said Amezquita. “We wait for things to come out and then we check up on them. That’s what we do. When someone finds a body in San Antonio, we call and make sure it’s not him.”

The Garcia family haven’t stopped searching for him or given up hope they will find him. The flyers they put up for Garcia are sometimes torn down, but are quickly replaced with more. Garcia did struggle with drug abuse, but the love his family had for him was unconditional.

“Eric was what he was, but we still love him. He’s still a person and the fact that he’s missing does matter. He still mattered to us…Eric was his own person and he did what he was doing and that was out of our control. But, we helped how we could and loved him,” said Amezquita.  

As we settle into the holiday season, it’s tough to imagine there are several people missing nearly without a trace. What’s even more unsettling is there are families missing them with many unanswered questions about their loved ones and living without closure.

“Hopefully, they won’t forget him. My hope is the cops and people won’t forget about him. If anyone knows anything at all they should come forward. I don’t want them to forget…We just want to find some closure and bring him home or bring him back where he belongs,” said Amezquita.

 

Greg “Little Greg” Cisnero

Pearl Luna, a Jourdanton mother whose son, Greg “Little Greg” Cisnero went missing on January 11, 2014 has never given up searching for her son. 

“He was a very good person. He had a good heart. He had his run with the law here and there. But, he wasn’t one of those that didn’t deny his mistakes. He knew he did wrong and would think about it. He had a really good heart,” said Luna. “He would bring people off the streets that we didn’t even know who they were, just because it was cold.”

One night, Cisnero was walking through the park in Jourdanton and came across a family of four living in their car. The family was homeless and had two children with them in the cold temperatures. Cisnero invited them to Luna’s home to stay the night and keep the children out of the cold. 

“I heard the shower on at midnight. I wondered who could be taking a bath at that time. Then, I heard noises in the kitchen so I got up to go look. He was there cooking and said he was cooking for his friends. He told me, ‘Mom, I gotta feed them. It was too cold for them to be out there like that.’ I got on him and told him not to be doing things like that for people he doesn’t know. He said, ‘I didn’t do it for them. I did it for the kids. It broke my heart seeing them there, Mom.’ He had a good heart and I told him he needed to be careful because you just don’t know,” said Luna.

He loved working and loved Tejano music. Though Cisnero didn’t know the words and may not have known what it meant, Luna said he loved it. After every song he’d always ask his mom for a translation. She would laugh and explain it to him. 

The last time Luna saw her son, she said he was smiling. He mentioned some friends wanted him to attend a party but he wasn’t feeling up to it since he’d been sick that week. Luna said that they finished their conversation and both went to their rooms. She said she remembered waking up the next morning to find that her usual cup of coffee Cisnero always had ready for her wasn’t there. 

“Right away I felt it. I knew it that Sunday morning when I came to work. I knew something was up….As soon as I left work, I drove up to see everyone outside. I asked for Greg. I asked my husband where Greg was and he said he didn’t know. I asked my daughter where Little Greg was and she told me he never made it home. I just freaked. I told my husband I’d been feeling it all morning and I just didn’t want to say anything. We started calling and looking and looking and nothing. The next day, nothing,” said Luna. 

Luna and her sister went to the police department to file a missing person’s report. Shortly after the search for her son began, Luna said she began to receive disturbing phone calls. She later learned a car had picked up her son from their house that night, but he was never brought back home. Luna and her family and friends performed their own searches and search parties. They searched any place they could think of in the county and followed any leads or hearsay. This continued the whole first year which Luna describes as the toughest year since her son’s disappearance. It has taken a toll on her in more ways than one.

“It effected me with anger, with hate and I can tell you that I didn’t didn’t want to go nowhere, didn’t want to see anybody. I just wanted to stay home. I didn’t even bother going to church…I just got up, went to work, got home and just stayed inside. For the longest time I could think of this is how it was. I finally started going back to church. I started letting go of the anger and the hate. I had to, becuse in order for me to move on, you know, I had to let it go. I had to learn to let it all go and to accept that he ain’t ever coming home,” said Luna.

It’s tough for Luna and her family. They all cope with his disappearance in their own ways. Luna will never give up until she has closure and hopes that if anyone has any information that they will come forward.

“He was a loving and caring person…I know he’s not here anymore. I knew that right away. I know he’s not coming back. There’s just no way,” said Luna. “It’s time they open up their hearts and start speaking the truth.”

 

Editor’s Note: Another year and another Christmas will soon pass without Eric Garcia and Greg Cisnero. Both missing person’s cases are still being actively investigated. If you have any information about either person or their disappearances, you are urged to contact the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Department at 830-769-3434 or the Poteet Police Department at 830-742-8123.

 

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