Left: Pentilla, circa 1991; Right: Age-Progression to age 27 (circa 2000)
Jennifer Lynn Pentilla
Missing since October 17, 1991 from Deming, Luna County, New Mexico.
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Pentilla is originally from Great Falls, Montana. She moved to Missoula, Montana shortly before leaving for New Mexico in 1991. She left Missoula in late September 1991 and flew to San Diego, California, bringing her bicycle, camping gear, and two Bibles. She planned to bike from San Diego to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she was to meet a missionary group and assist the poor, then on to visit Mexico.
Pentilla left San Diego, riding her white "Fuji" mountain bicycle and carrying a backpack and camping gear. From October 1, 1991, to October 17, Pentilla called her mother eight times, reporting her progress and her ambition to make it into Mexico.
She was last seen at a Shell service station on Pine Street in Deming, New Mexico, just 30 miles north of the Mexican border. From there she called her mother at approximately 09.00 on October 17 to say she'd changed her plans. She'd heard that a woman alone in Mexico might be in danger, so she'd decided to go to Minnesota to see a friend. Pentilla's mother offered to pay for her transport there after she made more concrete plans, and Pentilla agreed to call her mother that evening. She never called back, never arrived at the friend's home and has not been heard from again.
About a year later, on September 4, 1992, two dove hunters found Pentilla's camping equipment and journal under a tarp in a remote area between Hatch and Deming off of State Road 26, about 46 miles northeast of Deming.
A missing persons report was generated on November 1, 1991, by the Missoula Police Department. The investigation of Jennifer’s disappearance was the subject of national news coverage but no information as to her location has surfaced.
If you have any information concerning Pentilla's whereabouts, please contact:
Deming Police Department
New Mexico State Police
Sgt. Stephen Cary
Missoula Police Department
You may remain anonymous when submitting information to any agency.
Agency Case Number: 050404
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
New Mexico State Police : Cold Case Homicide Investigations
Great Falls Tribune