SAN ANTONIO – The family of Maria Jesus Llamas says the skull found near the Poteet Flea Market in 2021, where her purse had been found a month after her disappearance, matched Llamas’ DNA.
Margie Llamas, Maria Llamas’ daughter, confirmed the match via a Facebook post, saying, “We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support the last 6 years. Today we received news the skull was a match to our mom. We are completely heartbroken as this gives us some closure but leaves us with many more questions. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
On November 20, 2016, Maria and her husband visited the flea market off of State Highway 16, where she disappeared within a matter of minutes. Her family, the community and law enforcement agencies had been searching for her ever since.
However, last year in September, a group of dove hunters found a skull near where Maria was last seen. That area is described to be about 3,200 feet away from the Flea Market. It’s a place Maria’s son, Refugio, said they are familiar with.
“We were up and down that area so much and for that skull to be found, it’s hard to believe we could’ve missed something,” he told KSAT in November 2022.
Bexar County Medical Examiners attempted to identify the skull but due to it being under the sun for years, the results were inconclusive. Margie Llamas told KSAT last year that wasn’t the end of the road for them. They sent the skull to the University of North Texas in May 2022 for a more detailed forensic analysis.
The family thanked the SAPD Missing Persons Unit, the volunteers who spent countless hours searching and the community for helping spread the word over the past six years.
Through a family friend, they released the following statement:
“While our hearts are broken by today’s confirmation, we can now begin the healing process and eventually have closure. We know there will always be questions left unanswered. These last six years have been extremely hard for our family, yet our faith and trust in each other and finding answers has never wavered. We are extremely grateful for the many across South Texas and parts of Mexico who were committed to helping us find answers. How can we ever repay those efforts? As our family has done these last six years, we will continue to give back and assist those in need and most certainly in searching for those who go missing. We are also committed to assist on causes and efforts associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
Richard Trevino, a family friend who was involved in the search for Llamas, said the family hopes this confirmation will bring hope for closure for other families going through similar situations.
“One day a contract worker, someone clearing land, somebody doing work on property, is going to come across and a family one day will have an answer,” he said.
When the plans are finalized, a schedule for funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced.
WATCH: Family friend shares message from Maria Llamas’ family after remains identified