It’s the anniversary Linda Cierzan was dreading most, one year since her husband, Will, vanished without a trace from their Saugus home.
“Some days are harder than others,” she told The Signal on Thursday, just shy of the one-year mark since Will Cierzan’s disappearance.
“I have to maintain my faith and hope and I do pray for strength, for both myself and Will,” she said.
“Since tomorrow is going to be one year, I am going to church in the morning and pray for God’s guidance and ask for Will’s safe return to me very soon,” she said.
In the past year, especially since her mother died in June, she’s been alone for her husband’s birthday, her birthday, their wedding anniversary and, perhaps hardest of all, Christmas.
Linda Cierzan told The Signal before Christmas that she would be praying her husband comes home for the holiday — but sadly, there’s been no update, despite a $20,000 reward that’s been offered up for information leading to Will Cierzan’s whereabouts.
With her faith unshaken and still clinging to hope, Linda Cierzan presses forward and into a new year.
After one year, the $20,000 reward offered for information about what happened, remains unclaimed.
No new evidence or clue has emerged since a couple of scant developments revealed by Lt. Rodriguez early in the probe: a smattering of blood — Will’s blood — found in the Cierzan home, and the video image of a truck backing into the home’s driveway.
No one who knew 58-year-old William John Cierzan as the hard-working, long-time Six Flags Magic Mountain employee, the faithful church-going parishioner or the loving family man who found simple pleasure in TV sports and collecting Coke bottles, would ever have believed he would be gone without a trace for a whole year.
As the disappearance enters its second year, so does the investigation undertaken by Lt. Ralph Hernandez, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau.
On the day before the one-year anniversary, The Signal caught up with the detective but what he was able to share was simply commitment.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he said, adding he wished he could provide more. But, what he could share was reassurance that the case has not been abandoned.
In February, the homicide detectives investigating the disappearance held a press conference in Monterey Park, revealing for the first time that they found blood evidence inside the Cierzan home.
In March, weekend searches initiated by volunteers scoured Saugus and parts of Valencia, including the San Francisquito Creek.
In April, the city of Santa Clarita put up a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person, or persons, responsible for the disappearance of the Santa Clarita resident.
In May, homicide detectives revealed they have only one “person of interest” in the case, and that the person was Cierzan’s nephew Daniel. Rodriguez noted, however, that the nephew had cooperated with detectives and had provided a statement of what happened the day of the vanishing.
In July, Linda Cierzan filed an official complaint with the local Sheriff’s Station about the deputy who was initially contacted about the disappearance.
At year’s end, the reward — increased to $20,000 — was still unclaimed, the sheriff’s complaint was unresolved, and the Cierzan family was divided.
One year ago
In the early afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, Will Cierzan was watching golf on TV with his nephew at 1:30 p.m. inside his home on Cuatro Milpas Street, near Seco Canyon Road, according to his sister Andrea Peck Cierzan
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, she said.
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 Will Cierzan.
Whether or not Linda Cierzan will learn the truth about her husband’s fate this year or not, one thing is for certain, her faith.
“As long as I keep for faith and my hope,” she said, “I know that Will is going to come home to me safely.”
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt