The Doe Network:
Case File 2220DMCA


Joaquin Coelho Esteves
Missing since December 13, 1988 from San Jose, California
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Circumstances of Disappearance
Esteves was last seen on December 13, 1988 in San Jose, CA at 11:30, driving away from his office at 1236 East Santa Clara Street.

 An acquaintance waved to Esteves as he drove off. Esteves returned the wave, and the witness said nothing appeared wrong. Esteves was apparently headed for an 11:30 appointment to do some translating in Los Gatos. He never showed up.

Esteves is a business executive, semi- retired, radio personality and was prominent in San Jose's Portuguese community. In addition to radio work, Esteves also was once the host of the television program "Portugal De Hoje" and is known to the Portuguese community throughout California.

In 1936, Esteves immigrated to California as a boy from the Azores Islands, joining his father at a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley and became part owner of the dairy, selling out in the early 1950's and moving to San Jose. He sold insurance and real estate as he and his wife, Isabel, raised six children. The two have been married 44 years.

Esteves left the house each day promptly by 09.00,  came home for lunch at noon and then at 16:30 for dinner. His family knew something was wrong when he failed to make his usual call home from his real estate office. Nothing was found disturbed at his office but they called police when they realized Esteves and his car were gone and his identification papers and money were still in the office.

The car, a mauve four-door 1989 "Buick Park Avenue", had just received its license plate 2KZV131. Orlando Cruz Vasquez was found driving Esteves car, and investigators later reported finding a distinctive ring in Vasquez's pocket, that Esteves had been wearing on the day he vanished.

Vasquez' was convicted in the murder-kidnapping of Esteves in December 1990. Vasquez was arrested three weeks after the December 13, 1988, disappearance of Esteves. A search of Vasquez's bedroom also uncovered a wristwatch, wallet and sweater that belonged to Esteves.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

San Jose Police Department

Agency Case Number: 883481349

NCIC Number: M-335406122
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
San Jose Mercury News

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