Odessa women’s remains identified after missing for 39 years

Maria Fay Lujan-Rodriguez has been missing since 1984
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - August 2nd, 1984 to some that date has no meaning, to others it could be a birthday or a wedding anniversary.

But to Maria Fay Lujan-Rodriguez’s family that was the day Maria was last seen 39 years ago in 1984.

6 years later though, Maria’s remains were discovered in 1990

However, it took 33 years for Maria’s remains to be identified.

“When they took my DNA it came out to be comparable and it was of course her,” said, Elva Rodriguez Patino, Maria’s Sister

Rodriguez was just 39 years old when she was last seen by her family.

She is a mother to three children and would have been a grandmother to 8 grandchildren.

When Maria’s family found out she was identified last month, emotions ran high, feeling like they’d waited a lifetime, 39 years, to hear she had been found.

“We had been looking for her ourselves and finally we were told where she was. We knew more or less what happened to her and just all that thought of her being out there unidentified and then found and then identified. It was very emotional for all of us. We weren’t expecting anything like this” said Rodriguez Patino

When Rodriguez’s body was found in 1990, her family didn’t know that she was just a county away.

“When I found the remains without of course having no identity she was just there in Crane at the funeral home with a John Doe,” said Rodriguez Patino

Rodriguez also added that she hopes families become closer and are always in touch to make sure they are always safe.

We also did reach out to OPD and they said they would be releasing a statement about this case in the near future.

We’ll keep you updated as more information comes out on this case.