Call and Text from Missing Torrington Woman Raise More Questions—and Provide No  Answers

Azia Saldana requests ride home, but fails to appear

Azia Saldana, 33, has not been physically seen since leaving her parents' home in Torrington on Aug. 26. Recent calls and text messages from Saldana only exacerbate her family's concerns as she remains missing. (Courtesy photo from Lisa Saldana)

By Jennifer Kocher

Special to the Wyoming Truth

Azia Saldana’s mother, Lisa, was relieved when her daughter called her on Nov. 9 to say she wants to come home. It was Saldana’s second call to her mother in three days, following over two months of silence after Saldana mysteriously disappeared from the family’s Torrington home on Aug. 26.

The first call from Saldana, placed on an unknown phone number with a Arizona area code, came on Nov. 6. During the roughly seven-minute conversation, Saldana, 33, told Lisa that she was “OK,” but wanted her to take down the missing person posters and media reports on social media.

Saldana, who struggles with addiction and has previously left home for a week or two at a time, always calls her family during her absences, according to Lisa. It was strange, Lisa said, for her daughter to have gone so long without contacting someone.

Saldana also responded to a text message from the Torrington Police Department on Nov. 6, affirming she was OK and declining any police assistance, according to Matt Johnson, Torrington Chief of Police.

At that time, Torrington police determined Saldana was no longer missing because she had made contact with them and her family. But Johnson said police remained concerned about Saldana’s welfare and were working with federal and state agencies to locate her.

Three days later, Saldana called Lisa again on Nov. 9, saying she “had been through hell” for the past two months, but declining to provide any details of where she was or who she was with, Lisa said. Saldana only told Lisa that she had been in Arizona, but was now in the Denver area.

Saldana was crying so hard during the call that Lisa said she could barely understand her.

Azia Saldana is pictured here with her daughter, Izzi, who turned 8 years old on Nov. 14. (Courtesy photo from Lisa Saldana) 

“I kept saying, ‘Honey, you better just calm down,’” Lisa said. “I asked her, ‘Is it money that you need? Or what can we do to help you get home?’”

Also on Nov. 9, Saldana also responded to text messages from Stacy Koester, a volunteer private investigator with the nonprofit, Road Warriors for the Missing, in which she asked Koester for a ride from Colorado to Torrington.

Koester agreed, and the two made plans for Saldana to meet a member of the Road Warriors at a truck stop in Cheyenne on Saturday.

But Koester was skeptical when Saldana stopped responding to her texts last Thursday evening, as she tried to firm up plans. Saldana failed to appear at the designated location on Saturday, Koester said.  

Saldana hasn’t contacted Koester or her mother since last Thursday. She also did not respond to a request for comment from the Wyoming Truth.

Saldana’s current location remains a mystery. Lisa said she believes Saldana is being held against her will based on her daughter’s behavior. Her son’s and father’s birthdays in October passed without Saldana contacting them; Lisa said such silence is out of character for her daughter.

Today is Saldana’s daughter Izzi’s 8th birthday, Lisa noted; this makes her think that something is very wrong with Saldana.

“I’m really, really stuck right now, only because I can’t see or talk to her or physically make eye contact with her to know what’s going on,” Lisa said. “If I could talk to her, instead of just the text messages, it would be much easier to read her voice.”

Likewise, Koester said she suspects that Saldana is in danger given her erratic behavior.

As of Tuesday morning, Johnson did not have any new information to share on Saldana’s case, but said law enforcement remains concerned for her welfare.

“We are continuing our investigation,” Johnson told the Wyoming Truth in an email. “At this time, that primarily involves sharing information with agencies who have jurisdiction in locations where it is believed Azia might be located, so that we can connect her with law enforcement, or other, resources that she needs.”

Azia Saldana is described as a Hispanic woman, 5-foot-7 tall and 147 pounds. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing black leggings and a black and gray sweatshirt with “Word” written on it. Anyone with information regarding Azia’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective Maestas with the Torrington Police Department at (307) 532-7001 or private investigator Stacy Koester at (307) 299-6710.

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