Pepita Redhair was a happy girl, who dreamed one day of becoming an engineer or a teacher.
Pepita, a proud member of Navajo Nation, loved skateboarding, cooking, drawing, and meeting new people. She was working as a cashier at a Hot Topic in Albuquerque, NM as a cashier and was studying at the University of New Mexico, with hopes of becoming a teacher or an engineer someday. Another thing about Pepita that should be acknowledged, is that she was always in contact with her mother, Anita, who remains adamant that her daughter would never have run away without telling her or reaching out to her.
Pepita was last seen by her mother on March 24, 2020.
On March 24, 2020, Pepita left her mother’s home in Crownpoint, NM to visit her boyfriend, Nicholas, at his home in Albuquerque, NM. Later that afternoon, Pepita and her mother, Anita, met to have lunch together at a local McDonalds. Afterwards, Anita dropped Pepita off at her boyfriend’s home; this is the last time she has seen her daughter.
“We had our last meal at MacDonald’s. She said, ‘Mom, I love you.’ She was always happy.” - Anita King, Pepita's mother.
Two days later, Pepita and Nicholas allegedly go out drinking together.
According to Nicholas, Pepita’s boyfriend, the couple went drinking on the evening of March 26, 2020. Sometime that evening, he explains, they met up with another man, whose name has not been released to the public. Nicholas further explains that he and Pepita got into an argument at the party they were attending. The last time Nicholas claims to have seen Pepita is when she walked out of the residence where they were drinking in Northeast Albuquerque, NM.
Nicholas adds, however, alleges that Pepita texted him the following day to inform him that she was with another man. Nicholas believes that this man is the same man from the party the night before. This is the last time anyone has been in contact with Pepita. None of these events have been confirmed by authorities.
Pepita is reported missing, then a worrisome text is sent to her mother.
After making several attempts to contact Pepita via text message and phone call, Anita contacted the Albuquerque Police Department and filed her daughter as a missing person on March 28, 2020. Two days later, Anita received a text message from Pepita’s phone. The person who sent the text explained that they had purchased the cell phone from someone, indicating that Pepita’s phone had been stolen.
"Friday the 27th, I tried calling her. I tried texting her. My intuition right away told me something was wrong. I tried Monday on the 30th again. I tried texting her, but that's when her phone was stolen." - Anita King, Pepita’s mother.
Nicholas, Pepita’s boyfriend, contacted authorities on April 19, 2020, nearly a month after her disappearance, and made another missing person report. It is unknown why he waited so long to file the report.
A possible history of domestic violence is brought to light.
In a statement made by officials with the Albuquerque Police Department, authorities acknowledge that there was a “domestic history with the boyfriend”, adding that they are “checking into it”. They also state that even though the “case had gone cold”, they are working on following up on new leads. Anita remains adamant that Pepita never would have run away without telling her. She maintains that Pepita was suffering from some form of domestic abuse from Nicholas at the time.
Where the case stands today.
In October of 2021, Anita along with other friends and family members, held a rally in Albuquerque, NM to raise awareness for Pepita’s disappearance. Another rally was held in June of 2022.
“We were so overwhelmed trying to find answers. I said, you know what, Pepita’s name needs to get out there.” - Shelda Livingston, Pepita's sister.
Today, Pepita remains missing and her case has been labeled as “cold” by investigators. If you have any information regarding Pepita’s whereabouts or her disappearance, please contact the Albuquerque Police Department at (505) 242-2677 or the New Mexico Department of Public Safety - Missing Person Hotline at (800) 457-3463.
"All we want for my family, my daughter, we want closure." - Anita King, Pepita’s mother.
At the time of her disappearance, Pepita was described as a 27 year old Indigenous woman with brown hair and brown eyes. She stood 5’1” tall and weighed approximately 141 lbs. Pepita has two moles on her chin and a scar on her left eyebrow. She has the following tattoos: a moon with lightning on her left leg, a butterfly on her shoulder, a dinosaur on her right forearm, her last name, "Redhair", somewhere on her body, and either a koi fish or dinosaur on her left forearm.