LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — A Colorado woman gets stuck in the snowy mountains, calls for help and vanishes without a trace. The disappearance of Melinda Tafoya-Deltoro remains a mystery, but her family is desperately hoping to find their missed loved one.
Tafoya-Deltoro is 5 foot 2 inches tall, weighs around 160 pounds, has brown hair and eyes and has a very distinct tattoo on her neck.
On Wednesday, the missing 38-year-old’s family sat down with FOX31 at New Hope Ministries alongside Pastor Ray Chavez. Monique Avila, Tafoya-Deltoro’s sister, said her faith and prayer has gotten her through the last 10 days.
“I just want her home safe,” Avila said. “We’ve just been very worried about her safety. We just don’t know. It’s the unknown right now.”
Avila relived the daunting phone call she received from authorities last week informing her that her sister was missing.
“When they got to the location, they couldn’t find her,” Avila explained.
The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, Tafoya-Deltoro called 911 from the Miner’s Candle area stating she was stuck in the snow and possibly under duress. The definition of duress is the act of using force, coercion, threats or psychological pressure to get compel someone to act against their will.
“They said she sounded distressed in the call,” Avila said. “I’m not sure. We asked to listen to it, but they didn’t let us.”
When deputies showed up at the location, a car was found but there was no sign of Tafoya-Deltoro. Her family said they are now left in the dark with no answers, sharing they don’t know why she was in Idaho Springs to begin with and that she doesn’t snowboard or ski.
Avila said her nephews ask for their mother each day and it’s hard. She added that search and rescue crews were out looking, but heavy snow dumping in the mountains made for treacherous conditions.
“If she got lost it’s pretty hard to make it out of that,” said Mario Suazo, Tafoya-Deltoro’s younger brother.
Suazo said when he heard the news, he went quiet and has been trying to stay busy for nearly two weeks to distract himself. With below-freezing temperatures and heavy mountain snow, Suazo is hoping for a miracle.
“It’s just scary to hear that she got lost in the mountains and then the snowstorm that came through. If she got lost it’s pretty hard to make it out of that,” Suazo said. “I know she’s tough and she’ll make it through that. We just want her home safe.”
As her loved ones wait for answers, they continue to pray and attend service at New Hope Ministries. Pastor Chavez and family are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lt. Gemillion at 303-679-2354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.