Thanksgiving, one of the most family oriented holidays in the U.S. Preparation begins days, weeks, even months in advance. Plans are made, food purchased, the home made ready for visitors, then the cooking starts. And that is all before the holiday begins.

One family was doing just that. Manuel Vargas was working and Maria Vargas went to her sister’s to help with the cooking and preparation for the holiday, leaving her 16 year old son and her 15 year old daughter Crystal, at home with Crystal’s 8 month old baby, who was ill.

It had been a couple of rough years for the family. Crystal Vargus had found a boyfriend in Sergio Maya Hernandez, when she was 14 years old. He was 21 or 22, or for all they knew maybe even older.  He was from Mexico. He sometimes went by the name of “Sorizo” sometimes by other aliases. He didn’t have a steady job. The family say they had tried to keep him from their daughter.

Then Crystal got pregnant and the baby was born. The family say that Hernandez came by often. Sometimes he even brought money, though they say that wasn’t steady. But there were still problems, and Maria Vargas allegedly even took out a restraining order against him at some point.

The day before Thanksgiving, while Crystal Vargas was home with her brother and her son, reportedly Hernandez called. The brother overheard part of the conversation, heard Crystal talk about eloping. The brother tried to tell her it was a bad idea, and she agreed. She told Hernandez they needed money for the baby.

About 11 pm, Hernandez showed up at the home. According to family members, Crystal didn’t want to go with him and the brother tried to say don’t go, but Hernandez allegedly had a gun and threatened the brother, so Crystal and the baby got into the vehicle and they drove away. Reportedly when they left they did not take any baby formula, diapers, blankets or warm clothing.

Police say they were driving a red Pontiac, possibly with dealer tags. Hernandez is considered armed and dangerous. He is described as 5’9″, 170 lbs. Black hair, brown eyes, a mustache and several tattoos.

Crystal was wearing a brown blouse and jeans and the baby was in pajamas with a blue sweater. Police say they could be headed for North Carolina, but they could actually be headed anywhere. A Levi’s call has been issued.                                                                               

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about putting problems aside for a bit while you enjoy food, family, and a time of thanks for what you have. Not for worrying about your child, and her child, and the trip they were not prepared for…. and may not have even been willing to make.


Crystal Vargas and the baby were found safe in a mobile home park in NC. Hernandez-Maya was taken into custody.                                                     


1 Comment

  1. shan.non said,

    November 26, 2006 at 4:58 am


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