Authorities Fear it is the Body of Missing Woman
SALINAS—Authorities with the Salinas Police Investigation Unit believe that a city work crew may have stumbled upon the body of missing 35-year-old Salinas resident Leticia Morales-Soto, who has been missing since last Thanksgiving Day.
On Saturday June 15, officers with the Salinas Police Department responded to Natividad Creek Park on a report that a body was found near the creek bed in the area of the 700 block of Garner Avenue in Salinas. A city work crew that was cleaning the creek bed found the body.
Investigators believe that it is the body of Morales-Soto, but the body was so badly decomposed that an autopsy proved inconclusive. DNA from the body as been sent to the Department of Justice for further analysis.
“The body appears to be that of a female,” Salinas Police Officer Miguel Cabrera said. “But due to the state of its decomposition we are unable to tell at this point.”
The Salinas Police have notified Soto’s Family in the event that the remains are later determined to be hers. Soto has been missing since last Thanksgiving Day when her husband, Ismael Contreras, reported her missing after finding her car parked at a dead end on Garner Avenue.
Authorities from both the Salinas Police Investigation Unit and the Monterey County Search and Rescue Team searched that area of the park back in November, but Soto’s body was never found.
Soto was last seen with her friend Rafael “Rafa” Carballo, whom she gave a ride. Carballo is still a person of interest in Soto’s disappearance and authorities believe that he has fled to Mexico. Carballo had walked in to the Salinas Police Department the day after Thanksgiving and filed a report, stating that he was victim of an assault.
The Salinas Police Department is still actively pursuing this case and is asking anyone with information to call the Salinas Police Departments Investigation Unit at 831-758-7226.
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