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Mom to missing Paso Robles teens: You don’t have to be afraid to come home

Daniela Esquivel, 16, and Mauricio Ojeda, 17, were last seen on March 30, police said.
Daniela Esquivel, 16, and Mauricio Ojeda, 17, were last seen on March 30, police said.

Police are searching for two teenagers from Paso Robles who have been missing since Thursday.

Daniela Esquivel, 16, and Mauricio Ojeda, 17, were last seen March 30, police said. Ojeda was last seen about 7 a.m. at his family’s home on the 1200 block of Corral Creek Avenue, and he left in the family vehicle, a silver 2013 Ford Edge that has a California license plate number of 7WLS262.

Esquivel left her family home on the 1000 block of Turtle Creek on March 30 to go to school, police said, but she did not come home. Esquivel’s mother, Alejandra Zepeda, said that after the school called to let Zepeda know Esquivel had not been in class, Zepeda texted and called her daughter multiple times but got no response. When Zepeda went home, she saw that Esquivel took some clothes, shoes and pictures.

“And that’s when I decided to call the police,” she said.

“I just want them to know they don’t have to be afraid to come home,” Zepeda said. “I just want them to know everybody loves them, wants them to be safe, wants them to come home and everything else can be fixed. We just need them to be OK.”

Zepeda said that some of her daughter’s friends told her that the pair had been telling people they were going to North Carolina to stay with a friend. The friend said he had spoken with them and had screenshots of texts he exchanged with the couple. However, when police tracked Esquivel’s phone, it was in the Palm Springs area, Zepeda said.

“I’m her mom, and when it’s your kid you want to say, ‘My kid wouldn’t do something like that,’ but this is totally out of her character, it’s not like her,” Zepeda said. “If you would have asked me a week ago, would they ever do something like this, no. As far as I know, they had nothing to run away from.”

Esquivel is described as a Hispanic female with brown hair and brown eyes, who is about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. Ojeda is described as a Hispanic male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is about 5-foot-9 and weighs 180 pounds.

Police said they believe the pair are traveling together and may either be in Riverside County or on their way to a friend’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Authorities ask anyone who sees the couple or their vehicle to call 911 immediately.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Paso Robles Police Department at 805-237-6464 or CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867, or text “SLOTIPS” and their message to the number 274637.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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