There's no doubt that thousands of people go missing every day in the United States, but thanks to the hard work of local agents, many of them are often found safe and sound.
So, it shouldn't be a surprise that each government report is met with both hope and fear, leading to in-depth investigations to find out not only what happened but also why.
The Netflix show “Missing: Dead or Alive?” is a great example of this. — so if you just want to learn more about the first case here, that of Lorraine Garcia, we've got you covered.
What Happened to Lorraine Garcia?
Lorraine was 61 years old and a mother, grandmother, and active part of the community in Richland County, South Carolina. Her life seemed to be going well until one day when everything turned upside down.
The truth is that she was so kind, caring, and motherly that even grown adults who were in no way connected to her thought of her as a parent and tried to stay in touch with her.
In November 2021, when she hadn't talked on the radio for almost two months, it was only natural that her ex-daughter-in-law Lamanda Moore made a missing person report.
That's when it came out that Lorraine had been seen leaving Prisma Health Richland Hospital for the last time on September 13, after she had been let go. She then disappeared without a trace.
When officials went to her home in Columbia to check on her well-being, there was no sign of her anywhere, and her bank account had not been used since the day of the incident.
But the little bits of proof that these things did give, along with her health problems over the past few years, were enough for the Sheriff's Department to label her “endangered” right away.
Have They Found Lorraine Garcia? Is She Alive or Dead?
In the original show, when Lamanda went to the police about Lorraine, she told them that her ex-mother-in-law, Anthony “Tony” Garcia, lived with her.
She thought this was important because he was an Iraq war veteran with a history of violence caused by PTSD. She was afraid that this violence was also directed at his mother.
After all, in their last phone call, the 61-year-old seemed “very paranoid” and “like she couldn't talk much on the phone,” according to the younger woman. Like, maybe people were paying attention to her.”
Clara, Lorraine's neighbor, and friend, later said that Lorraine was getting more and more scared of her son in the days before she suddenly disappeared.
“Lorraine had told me in the past that Tony had never directly threatened her, but it was worse this time than it had been in the past,” she said carefully in the latest Netflix show Missing: Dead or Alive? “The day she went missing, she told me he had taken her to a lawyer's office and told her she was going to sell the house.”
But when she said no, he reportedly said, “Mama, do you know how easy it would be to push you down these steps and kill you? You have to do what I say.”
When the police came to look for Lorraine in November, the Garcias' shared home was empty of all personal items and smelled like bleach. This didn't help Tony's case.
And the punch holes in several walls, the string tied to a bedroom door, and the broken bolts didn't prove that he locked his mother up often against her will, either.
But his refusal to talk to authorities, his refusal to admit that he had burned or moved her things to a storage unit, and the fact that he sold their home through Facebook Marketplace even though he didn't have power of attorney were the last straws.
Tony was then arrested on charges of using a computer to commit a crime, forgery and giving fake information. When his things were searched, they found a bloody air mattress.
But before anything could be done legally, it came out that Lorraine had called her bank just a few weeks before to get into her account, but couldn't because of ID problems.
That's how the police got her possible phone number and address. When they called, they found out that the 61-year-old woman was alive and well; she'd just left and didn't know there was a search for her.
Lorraine said in the documentary series, “I've been trying to start over just so I can have peace in my mind and heart.” “I'm not ready to go back… I need to start caring for myself.
He did things to me that he has never done before. “That's not fair to me.” She then said that she didn't want anyone to find out where she was or press charges against Tony because, despite everything, she still loved him a lot.
“Right before I left, I was getting scared,” the woman, who is now almost 63 and lives in a new place, revealed. “I didn't recognize the people who were coming in through the garage door and the living room. In the closet, someone had been eating.
There were all kinds of things lying around, and I didn't feel safe… I thought that maybe I should just leave Tony alone. Maybe that's what he's been trying to say to me: ‘Go away.' So I got on a bus and went as far as I could. And that was the start of the rest of my life.”