Amanda Deza with daughter Veronica
A sad story today by way of The Guardian LINK>DNA used to identify California mother whose body was found 27 years ago. There is a clearer, better photo at The Guardian article. Her daughter, Veronica Tovar, contributed the DNA sample. Veronica was removed from her mother’s home at the age of three along with her other siblings. Her mother did want her children to stay together and the three were eventually placed in the same adoptive home.
Veronica says of her mother “She loved her kids even though she wasn’t here with us. That feeling never left me. She did the best she could with what she had. For me, for what I feel and the memories I have, it’s almost like she just got lost. I think she didn’t have the support she needed to thrive.” As she waited to hear back from police, she pored over details of the case and the reality of what her mother endured began to sink in. “I sat on pins and needles until I found out. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I couldn’t stop reading about her case,” she said. “It is so unfair, so unjust, the brutality of how she was murdered.
She remembers being able to sense her mother’s struggles. “Before I was taken I do remember feeling sadness from her,” Tovar said. “I remember my mom was really sad.” Tovar is the only one of Deza’s children involved with the case. Her brother and sister are not up to taking part, she said. They were removed from her mother’s home before her and none of them know why. “We still just don’t know. On top of the not knowing we didn’t know what happened. We didn’t know why she never contacted us.” She adds, “I remember her playing with me in the sand one time. I remember her loving me. I can feel that. She did love me. She was sweet.”
Investigators believe she disappeared at the age of 29. She was last seen in 1994 with a man she had met at a rehab facility in the city of Napa, nearly 80 miles from where her remains were eventually found. Authorities said there was never a missing person report filed for Deza, who they described as experiencing “challenging times” before she died. On a spring day in 1995, a group of recyclers scavenging along a northern California canal made a grim discovery – the remains of a woman bound and gagged inside a partly submerged refrigerator. Authorities believed the body, described as being that of a woman between 29 and 41 years old with strawberry blond hair, had been underwater for several months.