The case of

Erica Melissa Alonso

Victim

Erica Melissa Alonso

Victim Race

Hispanic

Victim Date of Birth

1987-03-26

Victim Age

27

Date Reported

2015-02-16

Date of Death

February 2015

Case Status

Open

Incident Location

Unsure

Body Location

Cleveland National Forest, California, USA

Date of Conviction

N/A

Body Discovered Date

2015-04-27

Murderer

N/A

Erica Alonso had been missing for over two months when her body was found, abandoned in a dry riverbank in the middle of nowhere; but police don’t think she was murdered

Who Was Erica Alonso?

Erica Alonso was one of five Alonso sisters. The family were extremely close and would always look out for one another and lend a hand when it was needed. Erica has been described as generous, bubbly, kind and responsible. Her sister has said that Erica was the kind of person who could strike up a conversation with anyone, whether they were young or old, and put them at ease. She lived life to the fullest and never let anything get in her way. At the time of her death, Erica was planning to return to school.

On Valentine’s Day in 2015, Erica and one of her sisters, Patricia Alonso, also known as Patty, were planning to stay in and watch cheesy movies. The pair still lived at home with their mom, stepdad and two other sisters so this kind of thing was easy to arrange. However, at the last minute, Erica decided that she was going to go out with her ex-boyfriend, Larry. They had a rocky relationship but they’d met up for lunch that afternoon and because it had gone well, they decided to hang out that evening too.

Patty checked her social media later that night and saw that Erica had posted videos of her and Larry at a local nightclub called Sutra Lounge. Patty knew that Erica probably wasn’t going to make it home that night and went to bed.

No one heard from Erica the next day, which was a Sunday, and while her family were concerned, they just thought that Erica was sleeping off a hangover But on the Monday, her family received a call from Victoria’s Secret, where Erica Alonso had just started a new job. Erica had failed to show up to work or call them to let them know why. This set alarm bells ringing for the Alonso family and they reported her missing.

Victim was Found Dead/Start of The Crime

On April 27, 2015, Orange County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a group of biologists who were working in the Cleveland National Forest when they came across a female body which had been wrapped in plastic bags and duct tape in a dry creek bed near the Ortega Highway.

At around 10pm, crime scene investigators arrived at the scene and decided that the terrain was too rugged to navigate without daylight. It would have to wait until morning.

The Crime Description

As Erica’s death hasn’t been ruled a homicide and there’s not suspicion of foul play, it’s not known how Erica died. Howevere, here is the information from her last known night.

Erica and her 45-year-old boyfriend, Larry, met up on the evening of February 14, 2015 and headed to a local nightclub called Sutra Lounge. They partied there until the early morning hours and befriended another couple but the identity of this couple isn’t widely known.

At around 1.30am, this couple offered Erica and Larry a ride back to Larry’s apartment, near Culver Drive and Deerfield Avenue in Irvine, California. The foursome carried on drinking and partying until an argument broke out between Erica and Larry which caused the other couple to leave at around 3.45am. According to Larry, Erica left shortly after this and drove off in her 2014 white Honda Civic.

Suspect or Convicted Killer Details

There isn’t an official suspect in this case and as it’s still open, no one has been convicted. However, many people, including Erica Alonso’s family, suspect that Larry had something to do with her death.

There’s no public information available on Larry, only his first name and that he lived in Irvine, California. He was almost 20 years older than Erica and the pair had been dating for around two years. Larry also had a daughter who Erica doted on.

In November 2, 2014, law enforcement were called to Larry’s apartment because neighbors had reported hearing a domestic disturbance. Erica was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and corporal injury and she was handed a four-month court ordered restraining order.

No other details about this night have been made public so it’s not known what exactly happened. Erica’s mom has later said that she’d noticed bruises on both Larry and Erica in the past and her sister said that their relationship was definitely unhealthy.

Investigation Details

As soon as the Alonso family reported Erica missing, police began looking into her movements since February 14. They questioned Larry and he gave the account that’s written above. Police began looking for the couple that Larry claimed they’d partied with but they couldn’t find out who they were.

The next day, this couple went to local police voluntarily. They’d seen their faces on the news and seen that Erica Alonso was now missing. They corroborated Larry’s version of events up until them leaving and because it seemed that Larry was telling the truth and cooperating, police didn’t question him further. in fact, he was never considered a suspect.

While this was going on, the Alonso family were holding candlelight vigils and spreading any news they had on social media, desperate to get Erica Alonso’s story out there. They offered a $5000 reward for any information, whether that was on her whereabouts or if they’d see Erica at the nightclub.

Over a month went past with no new information. On March 25, 2014, police received a tip from someone who lived in the quiet neighborhood of Glenwood Park. This tip was about an unmoved car that had been sitting there for weeks. When investigators went out to the car, they discovered that it was Erica’s 2014 white Honda Civic. The car had accumlated dust on the outside and there were two parking tickets on the windshield. Her purse was found inside the car along with all of her belongings. But Erica and her cell phone were still missing.

Her car was also found around a mile from her family home. Police and her family had been searching for her car since she’d gone missing and it’s unbelievable that no one found it, given how close it was to the Alonso house.

No new information came in for another month. On the evening of April 27, police got a call from a group of biologists who’d stumbled across a decomposed body lying at the bottom of a dry creek in Cleveland National Forest, just off the Ortega Highway.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the next morning and the body was moved at around 11am. Evidence collection began at the crime scene and a formal investigation was made from the clothes she was wearing and the tattoos she had. Erica Alonso had been found. Her family were told and they were devastated.

Even though there weren’t obvious signs of trauma to her body, her family are convinced that she was murdered. An autopsy was conducted and the report from toxicology tests gave a cause of death. Erica had died from a lethal combination of alcohol and GHB, also known as the “date rape drug”. She’d overdosed. Her blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit in California at the time and adding a hard drug like GHB into the mix was fatal.

Because of this finding, police said that they didn’t think Erica had been murdered but they didn’t know whether she was the victim of an accidental death. Her family are open to the idea of an accidental overdose, even though they say this wasn’t like Erica, but if that was the case, why did someone dump her body? Why didn’t they call 911? Why did they dump her car so close to her home but leave her body 20 miles away?

Trial

N/A

Verdict

N/A

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Erica Melissa Alonso?

27-year-old Erica Alonso died from an overdose. Erica’s case is still “open”, even if the police don’t believe she was murdered.

Where is Erica Alonso buried?

Erica Alonso was laid to rest on May 8, 2015. She is buried at Ascension Cemetery, Orange County, California, USA.

Subscribe TO OUR WEEKLY
TRUE CRIME

NEWSLETTER