SCV’s lost & found loved ones

Will Cierzan flanked by his sisters, Karen (left) and Ruth.
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When Santa Clarita Valley becomes the lost and found of missing loved ones, hope and promise give way to the pain of uncertainty.

“We just want to end the pain,” said Andrea Peck, sister of Will Cierzan missing now more than eight weeks.

“Right now, we’re trapped,” Peck told The Signal this week. “We don’t know where else to look.”

And, what makes the Cierzan family’s ordeal even more painful is the fact that they are not the only family haunted by simply “not knowing” what happened to their loved one.

So profound is the longing for closure, family members of missing people rush to investigators whenever a body is found, before it’s even identified.

And, while bodies go missing, remains are being found.

Human remains

On Tuesday, human remains were found in a field south of Robert C. Lee Parkway, southwest of Golden Valley High School, at the bottom of an embankment in a “dirt field turnaround” area off of Golden Valley Road.

Within an hour of news posted online of the discovery, people searching desperately for their loved ones called homicide detectives – and The Signal – for some indication on whose remains were found.

Edgar Garcia called The Signal Tuesday looking for information that the body found near Golden Valley High School could be that of his sister, Maricela Garcia, 26, of Tarzana, who went missing since Jan. 12.

Maricela Garcia, 26, of Tarzana, went missing Jan. 12.

None of the information he was given, however, made him feel better, since the question, he said, was still unanswered: Is she dead or alive?

On Friday, Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department said investigators are still trying to determine the gender of the remains recovered Tuesday.

For Edgar Garcia, not knowing anything is painful.  “I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy,” he said Tuesday.

On Friday, he told The Signal he was no closer to closure.

“It’s been very rough,” he said Friday.

“I haven’t found my sister.  Every time you read about a body being found your heart drops because you wonder if it’s your loved one.  That’s why I called right away.”

Garcia, who plans on putting up flyers about his sister’s disappearance at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall, said doing nothing hurts worse than the efforts of searching.

“You have to be very patient,” he said. “Doing nothing is sometimes the hardest thing.”

If he follows through with his flyer-posting plan, Edgar Garcia is sure to find flyers already posted by Andrea Peck and others that solicit and elicit help from the public seeking information about Will Cierzan.

“Last week, we posted flyers at Central Park,” Peck told The Signal, noting flyers posted at the mall, by the aqueduct and near the intersection of Seco Canyon Road and Bouquet Canyon Road have turned up nothing.

“We want closure,” Peck said. “But we also want justice.”

Will Cierzan

On Jan. 26, William John Cierzan, 58, was watching golf on TV with his nephew at 1:30 p.m. Thursday inside his home on Cuatro Milpas Street, near Seco Canyon Road, Peck told The Signal eight weeks ago.

After the nephew left the home, Cierzan began making dinner, she said.

“His wife called him between 3:30 and 4 p.m. and he said ‘I’m putting dinner on’ and he was in great spirits,” she said.

At 5 p.m., the wife called again and he said the chicken was cooked.

But, two hours later, Cierzan’s wife, Linda, arrived home and found the chicken cooked, with the oven turned off.

Her husband’s wallet, keys, and coat were in the house, with credit cards and money in the wallet.  The family dog was in the house.

But, there was no sign of Cierzan.  After 44 days, Cierzan remains missing with no clue as to what happened to him.


On the morning of Feb. 14, the body of 57-year-old Julie Crane was found inside her white Kia in the parking lot on Carl Boyer Drive.  Two whole days went by before she was identified.

In that time, SCV residents feared it may be their loved one.

An old photo of Julie Crane when she was young, supplied by her friend Ynes.

Within two hours of news about the Feb. 14 discovery being posted online, a woman called The Signal crying because she was convinced the woman in the white Kia was her missing friend.

For the caller, she would have to endure two full days not knowing if the homeless woman living in her white car who died, was her friend who was recently homeless and living in a white car in the SCV.

The homeless woman was later identified as Julie Crane – not her friend.

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt



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