Deborah J. Centeno
North American Missing Persons Network
Deborah J. Centeno

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Above Images: Left and Center: Centeno, circa 2004; Right: Centeno, in June 2005 (seven months after her initial disappearance)

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: November 9, 2004 from Benson, Arizona
  • Classification: Missing
  • Date Of Birth:
  • Age: 47
  • Height: 5'2"
  • Weight: 145 lbs.
  • Hair Color:
  • Eye Color:
  • Race: Hispanic
  • Gender: Female
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Usually wears contact
    lenses or eyeglasses. Ears are pierced. Fair-skinned and may have
    a severe sunburn.
  • Medical Conditions: Centeno has been showing signs of
    severe paranoia prior to her disappearance; her loved ones believe
    she may have an undiagnosed mental illness and may be in need of
    medication. In addition, Centeno has asthma and severe allergies
    and has been hospitalized for these conditions on multiple occasions.
  • Clothing: A gray sweatshirt, sneakers.
  • Jewelry: A gold ring on her left ring finger.
  • AKA: nickname is Debbie
  • Case Number:
  • NCIC Number:
  • Dentals: Her lower teeth are crooked and she has a
    small chip on one of her front teeth.

  • Details of Disappearance
    Centeno resided in San Antonio, Texas until August 2004, when she left the city abruptly and walked over sixty miles to another town. A police officer there brought her back to San Antonio. On October 31, Centeno left home again and drove to El Paso, Texas, where she ran out of gasoline. She called her family to tell them where she was and said she was abandoning her car. Some of Centeno's relatives went to El Paso and tried to convince her to come home, but she refused, so they filled her tank and left her there. Centeno arrived in Benson, Arizona on November 8. She had run out of gas again and abandoned her car on the interstate highway just outside of town. She sat at a rest area for five or six hours until someone called the police. Authorities stated that Centeno appeared to be ill and had possibly not eaten in several days. They tried to arrange for her to have a place to stay that night, but she refused their help.

    The day after that, on November 9, Centeno went to the Benson police station and asked the officers for a ride to Tucson. They could not take her and advised her not to hitchhike, as it was unsafe. Centeno said she would walk to Tucson. They warned her that it was against the law to walk along the interstate and she would have to take back roads. An officer gave Centeno a bag of food before she left. The police later said she appeared to be hungry, frightened, and ill when she left the station. Centeno was last seen in the vicinity of 7th Street and Gila in Benson, just before starting out for Tucson. She was carrying a rolling suitcase. She left the town on foot, intending to cross the desert to Tuscon, which is approximately sixty miles from Benson.

    On June 30, 2004, seven months after Centeno's initial disappearance, she had contact with the police at approximately 4:20 p.m. in the vicinity of the 11700 block of La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Her identity was confirmed by fingerprints. Centento was living on the streets on the time and apparently did not have any means of support, any identification, or any access to a vehicle. She was sighted again in Santa Barbara, California at Christmas 2005, but has not been seen since then.

    Centeno refused to get in touch with her family. Her relatives persuaded authorities to re-list her as a missing person, as she may be in danger. She is probably still living a homeless lifestyle.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
    (323) 890-5500

    Source Information
    Charley Project
    Find Deborah Centeno