Unfortunately, it seems that this missing person case is a murder case. Cynthia Alonzo went missing in November 2004, around the Thanksgiving holiday. The 48-year-old was living in Oakland, California with her daughter and her daughter’s children as they were preparing for family time during the holiday season. However, Cynthia was reportedly in a tumultuous relationship with a man named Eric Mora, and the pair spent most of their time arguing rather than enjoying their romance. It’s said that their relationship had even been violent and Cynthia’s family wanted her to leave him.
Terresa Jones, one of Cynthia’s daughters, spoke with Mora on the phone that November because she was looking for her mother. Mora reportedly told her that Cynthia Alonzo left and went to the store to cool off because they’d just had an argument. Later, Cynthia called her daughter to let her know that everything would be fine and that she’d see her for Thanksgiving. No one has seen or heard from Cynthia since that time.
The Charley Project reports that after Cynthia Alonzo went missing, one of her neighbors told authorities that she’d seen Cynthia get into a vehicle with Eric Mora. The neighbor would also state that they were threatened by numerous people who advised them not to speak about what they’d witnessed or they’d “end up like [Cynthia].”
When Terresa went poking around her mother’s house for clues, she found that Cynthia’s personal belongings were still there. Her makeup, debit card, Social Security card, identification, and other items that she would take with her even if she was leaving the house to run errands were left behind. Cynthia Alonzo never made to Thanksgiving dinner, and Eric Mora wasn’t around for the festivities, either.
Fearful of what may have happened, Terresa and her sister didn’t hesitate to visit Mora at his home to question him about their mother’s whereabouts. He stated that he hadn’t see Cynthia for two weeks and left it at that. However, things looked suspicious to the worried daughters. There was a missing rug in the bedroom and Mora changed his tune and said he now remembered seeing Cynthia Alonzo the week prior when he took her to the store.
Police launched an investigation and soon, Eric Mora was their person of interest. There were cuts and scratches on Mora, but he explained them away by saying he’d sliced himself on glass. He also seemed nervous when speaking with authorities, but that wasn’t abnormal, as most people are. Yet, an inspection of his car showed that the carpet had been removed from the vehicle, and additionally, investigators located bloodstains throughout Mora’s home. They matched both Mora and Alonzo.
Two-and-a-half years after her disappearance in February 2007, Eric Mora was charged with the murder of Cynthia Alonzo. Those charges were reportedly dismissed by a judge, but police didn’t take long to refile. New evidence surfaced against Mora after an informant told authorities that Mora admitted to him that he’d beaten Cynthia to death with a hammer. He allegedly dismembered her body, loaded the remains into his vehicle, and dumped them in a body of water somewhere in California. One of Mora’s cellmates also testified that Mora attempted to bribe him, asking him to tell police that he was with Mora during the time that Cynthia disappeared. Initially, the cellmate agreed but later decided not to. Instead, he testified against Mora and became a target in prison as he was violently attacked by other inmates.
In February 2012, Eric Mora was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars. Four years later, the conviction was overturned in appeals court. A year after that, Mora admitted to authorities that he was the person responsible for the murder of Cynthia Alonzo. He confessed to burying her remains somewhere in the vicinity of Seventh Street and Maritime Street in West Oakland, but even after multiple digs and searches, Cynthia’s remains haven’t been located. He pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to 11 years.
Following the 2012 conviction, James Walker, Cynthia’s brother, just wanted Mora to tell the family where they could find her. “We just hope at this point Mr. Mora would do the right thing and tell us where my sister is,” Walker said.