“They haven’t found her yet?” a passing motorist asks out his window, glancing at the picture of the young, dark-haired woman.
“No, not yet,” replies one member of the slowly marching crowd.
A month has come and gone since Elizabeth Elena Laguna-Salgado, 26, walked out of the downtown center where she was studying, disappearing without a trace in the middle of the day. She had come from her home in Chiapas, Mexico, just a few weeks before.
Now, alongside the Nomen Global Language Center’s banners advertising “Learn English in Utah” are missing persons fliers.
More than 50 volunteers, including many members of Laguna-Salgado’s family, carried the missing woman’s picture through downtown Provo on Saturday, past the school where she studied and down the street where she walked, in hopes of keeping her case from being forgotten.
“Traveling for Memorial Day? Watch for Elena,” read posters decorated with hearts.
Among the crowd were the missing woman’s mother and father, accepting embraces from friends and strangers and giving thanks for prayers offered on their daughter’s behalf.
“My heart, the heart of a mother, is grateful to all of you,” Libertad Edith Salgado-Figueroa told the group in Spanish. “I have hope that Elizabeth Elena is alive and our Heavenly Father is going to help us find her.”
Elizabeth Laguna-Salgado had talked to her older sister every day since coming to Utah. The two are very close, Sara Laguna-Salgado said, answering questions from the family’s home in Mexico.
The two used messaging apps to stay in touch and had been chatting back and forth on April 16, the day she disappeared.
“I love you. What are you doing?” Sara Laguna-Salgado asked her sister.
“I just left school,” she responded about 2:30 p.m.
Just over 30 minutes passed before Sara Laguna-Salgado saw the message and responded, “Cool. Have you arrived?”
The app, which indicates whether a message has been read, shows that Elizabeth Laguna-Salgado never got her sister’s message.