In 2001, Bianca was a fifth-grade student at Elias Howe School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She arrived at school early on November 7, 2001, and told her classmates and a teacher that her uncle was taking her shopping that day. She invited her friends, but they declined.
According to witnesses, Bianca got into a vehicle at 8:30 a.m., before classes started. The van was an older model with two-tone brown and tan paint and tinted windows. The exterior was in disrepair and appeared to have been sanded in several places. This case summary includes a photo of a similar van as well as a sketch of its driver. Bianca has not been heard from since.
The driver is described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 20 and 30. According to witnesses, he stood 5’8 to 5’11 and had an average build. The man had black curly hair in a short afro with long sideburns and a beard, brown eyes, a prominent nose, and scratches on both cheeks. He was dressed in a long-sleeved blue pullover shirt with Gap imprinted on the front and along the right sleeve, Fubu jeans with a Fat Albert cartoon character image on the right rear pocket, and scuffed brown Timberland boots. The man made no attempt to hide his face from onlookers.
Bianca’s classmates believed
Bianca’s classmates believed that the unknown man was her uncle and did not intervene when she entered his van. Her family members told authorities that Bianca does not have an uncle and that none of her relatives owned a van similar to the one used in her abduction.
School officials were widely chastised for their handling of Bianca’s disappearance. Administrators were unaware Bianca was missing until the day after her kidnapping. Her absence was recorded by her teacher.
High Security Measures
After Bianca vanished, new attendance guidelines and tighter security were implemented. The teacher who overheard Bianca talking about plans with her uncle the day she was kidnapped was placed on paid leave. Although Bianca’s mother thinks she is still alive, she had her declared legally dead so that she could sue the school for wrongful death.
At the time of her disappearance, Bianca lived in Bridgeport with her mother and stepfather, Carmelita Torres and Angelo Garcia. Around 4:30 p.m., Bianca’s family discovered that she was missing. At first, they thought she might have been at a friend’s house and had forgotten to call them.
Bianca Failed to Return Home
Bianca’s mother called the police when she didn’t come home by 8:30 p.m. She frequently visited relatives other than her parents’ homes after school, and once she vanished overnight before resurfacing the next morning at a friend’s home. At the time of Bianca’s disappearance, her mother and father got along well, and neither is under suspicion in relation to her case.
Bianca is characterized as having a gregarious personality and a high sense of self. She was a model student in 2001, so skipping class on the day of her disappearance was out of the ordinary for her. Her interests in 2001 included singing and dancing to all kinds of music, as well as shopping at the nearby Trumbull Mall and Milford Mall. She also had a pet hamster named Nina.
Bianca’s Case is still unsolved
Elias Howe School has since been closed, and Bianca’s father now lives in Florida, but her grandmother still lives in the same house as she did in 2001 and her entire family hopes she will be found. No suspects have been identified in Bianca’s disappearance. Her case is unsolved.
- Bridgeport Police Department