A mother came to the Santa Clarita Valley Friday looking for her son.
Josefina Gellogos traveled Friday from Salinas where she lives. It’s the third sad trip she’s made to the valley, searching for her son, Luis, who vanished in a bizarre highway incident in the area more than three months ago.
“We hope to find him safe,” Karina Hernandez, Gellogos’ niece, told The Signal Friday. “It’s not even for him to come home, we just want to know that he’s safe.
“Our family is very worried,” she said.
Missing is 19-year-old Luis Fernando Prado Perez, of Salinas, described as 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, black hair and green eyes.
On July 29, he was a passenger in a car leaving the Santa Clarita Valley for Salinas, traveling north through the Grapevine with a carload of friends, Hernandez said.
As the car approached Templin Highway it blew a tire and pulled off onto the shoulder.
“For some reason, he got anxious and got out of the car and ran across the highway to get to the other side,” Hernandez said, based on information supplied by the young man driving the car that day.
Perez crossed the northbound lanes of I-5 but was not seen crossing the southbound lanes.
When the family failed to hear from Perez that day, they filed a missing person’s report with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
A detective from the station called the family a month after the disappearance asking questions, Hernandez said, but not offering any answers.
In September, the family went to the sheriff’s station hoping for answers or, at very least, some positive news.
Although sheriff’s deputies follow-up with the missing reports, as they had done with the Perez family, and treat each report seriously, they remind family members who go searching that sometimes people decide to leave.
“This person is an adult,” Lt. James Duran said Friday when asked, noting Perez made a decision – for whatever reason – July 29 when he got of the car.
The man’s mother, Josefina Gellogos, and his cousin, Karina Hernandez, and all of his other worried relatives appreciate that Luis Perez may have simply decided to leave. They just want to know that he’s safe.
In the meantime, family members will continue to do what they’ve been doing – routinely driving more than 300 miles from Salinas, inquiring at the sheriff’s station, taping posters of Luis to utility poles, driving another 300 miles back home; worried, not knowing any more than when they set out.
The family’s plea printed on the poster reads: “Please help us find my son. …We don’t know where he is or if he’s okay.
“Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any information regarding me son.”
The family can be reached at 831-794-3340.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt