Sarah Reyes Hernandez was a young woman whose fragmented skull was discovered in a clandestine grave in San Diego County, California. Reyes disappeared on October 3, 1994 and was identified via dental records in 2008. In 2009, charges were brought against a woman who rented to Reyes, which were later dismissed the following February, as a result of most of the remains being destroyed in 2004. There was, however, circumstantial information that suggested guilt towards the accused party.
Disappearance and discovery
After leaving the shack she rented behind the residence of Seferina Ponce Marquez to buy formula for her infant son, Reyes disappeared. Family members reported her missing the next day. Foul play was suspected; Reyes' was known to be in a disagreement regarding her boyfriend's desire to move, and letters penned by Ponce served as potential motives.
Reyes' skeleton was discovered in San Diego County, California in 2000. She had been struck in the face and buried on property Ponce's family was "connected to." She was found with clothing that originated from Mexico, leading some to believe she was foreign to the country.
After examination, she was estimated to be between 17 and 22, having died sometime between 1992 and 1998. She was exhumed in 2004, and a frontal and a profile reconstruction were created by artist Karen T. Taylor.
Some witnesses had left the area by the time the identification took place, and they could not be reached by police to aid in the prosecution of Ponce, whom they suspected was the probable culprit. After the charges were dropped, permission was later denied to retry the case.