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LASD - Lancaster Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
Sunday September 19th, 2010 :: 07:47 a.m. PDT


5 adults and 8 children missing in the Antelope Valley

There is no specific crime related to this incident, but we do have five adults and eight children who are missing under questionable circumstances. We also have reason to believe the missing 13 people are somewhere in or near the Antelope Valley.

On Saturday (09/18/10), at 1:45PM, two husbands entered the lobby of the Palmdale Sheriff's Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and expressed concern about the welfare of their wives and family members.

One of the husbands explained that their wives and others were part of a cult-like group who had been "brainwashed" by the leader, Reyna Marisol Chicas (33).

The same husband said he had been directed to pray and watch over a purse inside a home in Palmdale that day. After several hours of doing so, his curiosity led him to open the purse and examine its contents.

Inside the purse he found five cell phones, money, deeds and titles to vehicles and personal property, personal identification for several people, and several letters written in both Spanish and English.

All of the missing people and their husbands are immigrants from El Salvador.

While there was no evidence of a crime found in the purse or residence, there is an indication of vulnerable people who have been led to an unknown area most likely in the Antelope Valley or nearby area. Some possible destinations for the group include east Palmdale, Littlerock, and the Wrightwood area.

Based upon the contents of the letters found in the purse, the missing people are possibly awaiting the rapture or some other type of catastrophic event. Some of the phrases used by the missing people in the letters include, "taking refuge," "going to heaven," and that they want their families to join them.

There was no evidence found that specifically indicates the missing people intend to harm themselves. There is no history of violence in the family. However, the husbands expressed concern that their families had been brainwashed and that suicide may be an intended outcome for the group.

The husbands explained that the missing people had met Reyna Chicas at an area Christian church, but had broken away from that church and formed a separate group that included both traditional and non-traditional practices and beliefs.

About six months ago, the group had gone on a similar outing to the Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, in the apparent belief that there was going to be a major earthquake. One of the group had apparently informed a family member of their intentions, which resulted in the cancellation of that event, and that group member was thereafter ostracized from the group.

The missing group includes five adults and eight children: The leader is Reyna Marisol Chicas (33); three adult sisters: Norma Isela Serrano, 31, Alma Alicia Miranda Pleitez, 28; and Martha Clavel, 39; Also missing are Jose Clavel, 15; Crystal Clavel, 3; Roberto Tejada, 18; Jonathan Tejada, 17; Hugo Tejada, 3; Ezequel Chicas, 15; Genisis Chicas, 12; Bryan Rivera, 17; Stephanie Serrano, 12.

The families of the missing people made many statements including their concern about the safety of their family members, including the eight children. This, combined with information gathered by sheriff's detectives, has resulted in extensive efforts by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other policing agencies in an effort to find the missing adults and children.

Captain Bobby Denham, Palmdale Sheriff's Station, said, "We are making an all out effort to find these 13 adults and children and to bring this perplexing situation to a positive conclusion." Sheriff's deputies from Palmdale Station, Lancaster Station, Santa Clarita Station, Parks Bureau, Search and Rescue, and sheriff's helicopters are all involved in the search, as well as detectives from the Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau, due to their expertise at finding people.

The group is believed to be using the following three vehicles:

2005 Toyota Tundra pickup, silver, license plate 7P19309
1995 Mercury Villager, white, license plate 3NFX290
2004 Nissan Quest Mini-Van, white, license plate 6LJF396

A photo of Reyna Chicas is attached.

Detectives are following up on leads gained from family and friends, as well as information from the residence. The Sheriff's Department thanks the news media and members of the public who are helping to get the word out about these missing adults and children.

No criminal charges are pending at this time.

We want to ensure these people are safe, and our goal is to find them. The fact that minor children are involved in particular raises our level of concern.

If you have any information as to the possible whereabouts of anyone from this group or their vehicles, please contact the Palmdale Sheriff's Station at 661-272-2400.

Or, if you prefer to provide information ANONYMOUSLY, you can call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website

Captain Mike Parker
Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
(323) 267-4800

Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff

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LASD - Lancaster Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
501 W Lancaster Blvd
Lancaster, CA 93534

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 661-948-8466

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