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    CA - Jeanette Gomez Espeleta, 20, pregnant, Santa Ana, 17 July 1998

    Jeanette Gomez Espeleta

    Endangered Missing

    Missing From: Fullerton, California

    Missing Since: July 17, 1998

    Age: 20 -- Height: 5'4" -- Weight: 130 lbs -- Hair Color: Brown -- Eye Color: Brown

    Jeanette's name may be spelled Janette. She has scars above her right eye and on her forehead. She has breast implants.

    Jeanette was last seen July 17, 1998 in Fullerton, California when she left work at a Santa Ana bank. She was about to move in with her Moreno Valley family when she disappeared. Friends said Jeanette, who attended Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, always kept in touch with family and friends and was a creature of habit who worked, hung out with her friends at the gym, and spent nearly every weekend with her family in Moreno Valley.

    Foul play is suspected. Police believe that Jeanette was kidnapped on July 17 between 2:00 and 7:00 pm. They think she was then shot to death and her body was kept overnight at an undisclosed location. The next day, the body was wrapped in chains or a rope. The body was placed on a boat rented from a company in Irvine and towed to Long Beach. Jeanette's 1996 silver Honda was driven near Rosarito Beach, Mexico, and set on fire. The father of her unborn child was arrested as a suspect in the case, together with 2 other men.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    From July 1998:


    Police believe Richard Tovar, 21, of Anaheim, was the father of Espeleta's child... The two other suspects are believed to be Tovar's acquaintances, and were identified by police as Henry Joseph Rodriguez, 22, of Anaheim and Nicholas Jeffrey Gray, 20, of Fullerton...

    Espeleta, who worked as a bank employee, was last seen leaving the 24 Hour Fitness gym in Anaheim on July 17 about 4 p.m... Police believe the woman met up with the suspects some time in the afternoon of July 17 near the MainPlace mall in Santa Ana and was kidnapped, Stanko said.

    Within 24 hours, the kidnappers then wrapped her body, weighed it down and dumped it from a boat near an oil platform in the early evening, he said. They also believe it was Tovar who shot Espeleta.
    From September 2000:


    An Anaheim man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend to avoid paying child support, then dumping her body off the coast, was found guilty Monday--although the victim's body hasn't been recovered.

    Richard Tovar, 23, faces life in prison for the murders of 20-year-old Jeannette Gomez Espeleta, a Fullerton bank teller, and the eight-month fetus she was carrying when she disappeared in 1998...

    Tovar's accomplices also face murder charges: Gray, 22, is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter charges later this year. In July, a jury returned a murder conviction against Rodriguez, 24..
    More recently:


    Henry Rodriguez, 39, Anaheim, was twice found guilty of murdering the pregnant girlfriend and unborn child of his friend, Richard Tovar, and in his second trial was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison...

    Today, Feb. 25, 2016, the Honorable Thomas M. Goethals ruled that the previously-sealed inmate records had been wrongfully withheld from the defendant at the time of trial, and therefore the court granted Rodriguez’s writ for habeas corpus and overturned the conviction, which makes the defendant eligible for a new trial.


    An Orange County judge cut bail in half on Friday for a man awaiting a new trial in the murder of a woman and her unborn child.

    Henry Rodriguez has been in custody since 1998 for the double murder of Jeanette Espeleta and her baby in Fullerton.

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