Thanks to community members emboldened in a frantic search, a 12-year-old girl who was reported missing since Tuesday, July 25, was found Monday evening and reunited with her family.
After being reported missing, Mayra Espinoza became the center of a community-led search in which Mission District leaders organized and posted flyers encouraging the public to send tips on her whereabouts.
Tracy Gallardo-Brown, an aide to District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton, texted Mission Local Monday evening, that “within minutes of the Monday call to action, the flyer was blasted and tips came in leading to her safely being located.”
“In this community, our children are sacred and the call to action was answered. Thank you to all who volunteered in the community, and … to the Excelsior crew for countless hours over the weekend to organize the Monday action that led to finding her,” Gallardo-Brown continued.
She noted the school Espinoza attends, Everett Middle School, also put out a call to action.
It is unclear how Espinoza was found and why she disappeared.
As of Monday early afternoon, Espinoza had last been seen in the neighborhood on Friday, July 29, at El Capitan Hotel, a single-room occupancy hotel at 2361 Mission St. near 20th Street.
An employee at El Capitan Hotel confirmed to Mission Local early Monday afternoon that he had heard Espinoza was missing, but said he had not personally seen her on the premises. The employee said he believed Espinoza was visiting her friend, a young man who lives at El Capitan with his family.
By early Monday afternoon, missing person flyers were posted along the storefronts and electric poles on Mission Street near the hotel and circulated on social media. Residents coming in and out of the hotel said they did not recognize nor had they seen Espinoza.
The San Francisco Police Department said that Espinoza had last been seen at her home on Persia Avenue at about 4 a.m. on July 25. However, she was “no longer at home later that morning,” according to police.