Missing Torrington Woman Places Mysterious Call Home, Causing More Concern from Police and Family
Police work to locate Azia Saldana
- Published In: Other News & Features
- Last Updated: Nov 07, 2023
Azia Saldana, 33, emerged Monday and called her mother after going missing for over two months. Despite the contact, the Saldana family and Torrington Police Department are concerned for her safety. (Courtesy photo from Lisa Saldana)
By Jennifer Kocher
Special to the Wyoming Truth
This story has been updated with correct information from the Torrington Police Department on November 8, 2023 at noon MT.
The Torrington Police Department has declared that Azia Saldana is no longer a missing person—or is she?
Saldana, the 33-year-old the Torrington mother of four who has been missing for over two months, emerged Monday by calling her mother Lisa Saldana. She told Lisa she is “OK” and wants to come home.
Saldana left her parents’ home to play Cowboy Skill gambling machines at the Western Travel Terminal truck stop on Aug. 26—and never returned. Saldana called not from her own phone number, but one with an Arizona area code.
When Lisa answered the phone at about 1 p.m. Monday, she said there initially was no voice on the other end of the line. She thought it was a spam call because she heard male voices in the background, as if they were in a call center, she told the Wyoming Truth on Tuesday. Lisa said “hello” multiple times before Saldana responded.
“I was shaking so badly,” Lisa said about hearing her daughter’s voice. “I immediately asked where she was so we could come get her.”
During the seven-minute call, Saldana sounded disoriented and declined to provide any details about her location or how she got there, Lisa said.
Saldana told her mother that she had one request: to take down the missing person posters and media coverage on social media.
“She kept asking me to make it disappear, but I explained I couldn’t until I knew she was OK,” Lisa said.
Lisa asked her daughter to provide photo proof that she was OK. Saldana sent a photo in which she appeared solemn, according to Lisa. Saldana then said goodbye, noting she probably would not have use of a phone much longer.
Lisa is gravely concerned about her daughter’s safety and fears she may be a victim of sex trafficking, based on the men’s voices in the background and the mysterious circumstances of the phone call.
“We’re very worried,” Lisa said. “I just want to know she’s safe.”
Removed as a missing person
On Monday, the Torrington Police Department posted a statement on its Facebook page that police and Saldana’s family had contact with her via the same phone number, and she is no longer considered missing.
Torrington Police Chief Matt Johnson told the Wyoming Truth Tuesday that the department exchanged text messages with Saldana, in which she indicated she was fine and declined any help from law enforcement.
After exchanging text messages with Saldana, police tried to call her repeatedly, but she did not answer the phone, Johnson said.
Johnson said police share Saldana’s parents’ concerns about her safety and are working with federal and state authorities outside of Wyoming to find her. Johnson declined to provide any additional details about law enforcement’s efforts or share where they think Saldana may be.
“The investigation involving Azia has been and remains very challenging for my department,” Johnson said. “From the standpoint of yesterday, we think that’s a really encouraging sign that Azia was in contact with her family, and they were able to confirm her identity.”
“We don’t want to make any situation worse for Azia and are working really hard to maintain a balance between potential safety risks and the requests that she made and also her right to privacy as an adult,” he added. “From the standpoint of how we move forward, we’re just trying to continue to work with her family to gather as much information as we can, so that we can connect Azia with any resources and confirm that she’s OK.”
Stacy Koester, a volunteer investigator with the nonprofit Road Warriors for the Missing, said the Saldana family is experiencing “zero relief” following their daughter’s call.
“We still believe Azia to be in danger, as the phone call seemed to be a forced call . . . ,” she said.
Koester said she and her group have stepped up their search efforts to find Saldana given the danger they believe she is in.
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.