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Search for missing mom leads nowhere

By Sarah Carden, HLN
Julie Ann Gonzalez has been missing since March 26. Her family says she'd never leave her daughter behind.
Julie Ann Gonzalez has been missing since March 26. Her family says she'd never leave her daughter behind.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Follow this case on HLN's "Issues" with Jane Velez-Mitchell
  • Julie Ann Gonzalez, 21, vanished in Austin, Texas, on March 26
  • She was estranged from her husband, told friend she'd met another man
  • Know something? Call Austin police at 512-974-5000

(HLN) -- Police in Austin, Texas, say they are stymied in their search for Julie Ann Gonzalez, a young mother who was last seen March 26 by her estranged husband.

There's no physical evidence to indicate that the 21-year-old was a victim of foul play, police say. And, without probable cause they can't search her abandoned car or look at her phone records.

"The case is still open and ongoing, but the Austin Police Department can assure everyone that the case is being investigated to the extent allowed by law," spokeswoman Anna Sabana said in an e-mail.

George De La Cruz, who is in divorce proceedings with Gonzalez, told HLN that his wife was acting strangely when she came to his house to pick up their daughter.

"She looked completely different. She kind of looked sad. She was down. She was out of it, not there. Not concentrating," De La Cruz said.

He said she told him she had changed her mind and would come back later.

She never did.

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De La Cruz said he had nothing to do with her disappearance, adding that he is willing to take a polygraph test.

There are some strange clues that don't add up, her family said.

After she disappeared, Gonzalez's MySpace page was updated by a mobile phone user. The posts read "I wanted to run away" and "I'm sick of the BS in my life."

Her car, which was almost brand new, was found abandoned outside a Walgreen's drug store. Gonzalez worked as a pharmacy technician at another Walgreen's.

Gonzalez's family is convinced something terrible happened to her.

"Julie is a very responsible mother. She's not one of these 21-year-old types that just want to be out and party," said her aunt, Dora Cooper.

"She's always been responsible. She always looked out for the best interest of her 2-year-old daughter. That was her main concern, 24-7," Cooper said.

Sandra Soto, the missing woman's mother, said Gonzalez had told a friend about a new man in her life. "Julie had texted her she met some guy named James who's a Web designer who bought a new house in Colorado and 'he's taking me away for the weekend to show me a good time,' " Soto said.

Gonzalez has not accessed her bank account. But, her mother said, someone used her credit card to purchase the movie "The Spiderwick Chronicles" at a Best Buy store in Austin.

"They showed me the surveillance video and they asked me to identify the person who used the credit card. It was not her," Soto said.