Family of missing woman travels to Provo to plead for help finding her

Posted at 6:10 PM, Apr 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-01 09:35:26-04

PROVO, Utah -- It's been two weeks since 26-year-old Elizabeth Elena Laguna Salgado vanished after last being seen on a busy street in Provo in the middle of the day, and Thursday the woman’s parents and siblings arrived in Utah to make a plea for tips to find her.

Salgado's mother, Lebertad Edith Salgado, said she believes her daughter has been kidnapped. She and her husband along with two of their sons went through a great deal of work to get to Utah so they could ask the public themselves to help find their missing daughter and sister.

"Our pain is great,” Lebertad Salgado said, speaking through a translator. “We miss our daughter, and she has always been a very good daughter since she was very young. You have no idea what our pain is at this time.”

Even the translator for the Salgado's fought back tears as the parents of Elizabeth spoke at Thursday’s press conference.

And, there was no hiding the stress and sleep deprivation on their faces.

"Our house is a chaos, we don't do the same activities that we have done in the past and we don't function the same way as we were functioning before," Lebertad Salgado said.

Elizabeth, known to some as Elena, Salgado was last seen April 16 walking home from her language school near 500 West and Center Street in Provo. Police said they don't believe Salgado was taken by a stranger, and they said they're working to interview everyone who had crossed paths with her in the month that she lived here.

Chief John King of the Provo Police Department said: “If she was snatched up there would be a confrontation and people would really remember and report it. That's why we believe that because there's not witnesses seeing her getting into a vehicle that it may have just looked like a casual friend stopping and someone else getting in for a ride.”

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes attended Thursday’s press conference as well. His office and several other agencies across the state are involved in the efforts.

"We are a force multiplier, we're a supportive agency,” he said. “We have some resources, for instance our SECURE Strike Force that works very closely with the Latino community--and even in particular the undocumented community, to perhaps find information that hasn't come forward.”

Elizabeth Salgado is the third born of seven children, and her brothers said not knowing if she's OK is hard to bear.

"We're devastated, we don't even know what to do," said Daniel Nahum Laguna Salgado.

Salgado's father, Julio, said they would've come much earlier, but they struggled to get visas to enter the United States. They were issued temporary entrance to the country for only 15 days. He's hoping they'll be able to find their daughter before that time is up.

"We pray that our daughter will be returned to us before Mother's Day, so that my wife will be able to be reunited--and what an amazing gift that will be to us," he said.

Elizabeth Salgado was last seen wearing a denim jacket, blue jeans and black or brown hiking boots. She’s described as being 5-feet 4-inches tall and weighs between 120 and 130 pounds. She has long black hair and brown eyes. She is pictured in the gallery at the bottom of this story.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 801-852-7307.

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday at 7 p.m. at North Park on 500 West and 500 North. Members of the public who attended were asked to bring candles.