ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Long-time Odessan and San Antonio resident, Bianca Carrasco, went missing from her home on May 1, 2016. Now, aided by Crime Stoppers, the search has intensified locally, as well as in San Antonio, as family and friends continue to fight for answers.
Carrasco’s sister, Jovanna Burney, spoke with ABC Big 2 News about the days leading up to her disappearance and explained why she doesn’t believe her sister would ever have left her children behind.
“She was just so funny…so loving, would do anything for anybody. Leaving everything behind…that didn’t sound like my sister,” Burney said.
Carrasco, who lived in Odessa until 2013, was last seen in her home in the 16000 block of Walnut Creek Drive in San Antonio more than seven years ago. Investigators said the registered nurse and mother of three was last seen by her husband, who reported they had an argument, and said she left the home on foot. She left behind her children, vehicle, and personal belongings, and her disappearance remains unsolved.
Burney said she spoke with her sister multiple times during the week leading up to her disappearance because of ongoing arguments Carrasco was reportedly having with her husband.
“A lot of drama. I had been talking with her every day leading up to that day, trying to figure out what was going on because there was just a lot of drama between her and her husband. I just wanted to make sure they were okay,” she said.
One day before she disappeared, Burney said Carrasco seemed “calm” and had made some decisions about the future of her marriage.
“She seemed very calm…but she described her husband’s behavior as ‘creepy’. She said she’d made a decision about seeing a divorce lawyer,” Burney said.
Burney said she told Carrasco to bring the children and come stay with her until things settled down, but Carrasco didn’t think it was necessary.
“So, she was just very calm and had a plan of action and that was the last time I spoke to her,” she said.
On May 2, Burney said she tried to call Carrasco, but couldn’t get through.
“Her phone was going straight to voicemail,” Burney said.
Growing concerned, Burney then texted Carrasco’s husband, but said he wouldn’t respond.
“He’d been all over the place with me and her friends (prior to May 1), so it was very strange that he wasn’t communicating as much as he was. I finally called him that afternoon because her phone still was not on. I told him I haven’t been able to get ahold of Bianca, (and asked) what’s going on. He said ‘no, she left last night’. I was puzzled,” she said. “He said, ‘she walked away from the house’ and that was even more puzzling. I could have seen her maybe leaving in her car but to walk; that was very weird.”
Burney said she asked her brother-in-law if he had actually seen her sister walk away from the house, which he confirmed.
“So, then I thought ‘what about the kids’…This is getting crazy. Do I need to come get the kids so y’all can work this out? He told me, ‘she probably left with one of those guys’…he found out she was in contact with someone prior to that day, another man. She was done. Even though they lived together, he (her husband) was still commuting back and forth to Odessa for work. So, for her, she was done. And he was freaking out,” Burney said.
Burney said her first thought was ‘who’ and then wondered why her brother-in-law didn’t seem concerned.
“I asked, ‘why aren’t you worried’…then I asked about her stuff, and he said she did not take her stuff,” she said.
Following that conversation, Burney said she reached out to their other siblings and asked if they’d heard from Carrasco, but they hadn’t. She then called her sister’s employer and asked if she’d shown up for work.
“They sounded concerned because of her work ethic…she didn’t call…she would not just not show up,” she said.
Burney then told her brother-in-law that she was going to call the police if Carrasco missed another day of work, which is exactly what she did.
“There were too many red flags. Something’s wrong,” Burney said.
Burney, who lives in Houston, called the police in San Antonio for help but they told her to reach out to the Houston Police Department and tasked HPD with taking the report.
“They came to the house and talked to me and then asked why her husband didn’t call (the police),” she said. “I told them, ‘I have no idea’.”
Burney said her brother-in-law was questioned, but never called police to report the disappearance.
“He was questioned…because of me (calling the police),” she said.
Eventually, the San Antonio Police Department did file a missing person report. That report states that prior to her disappearance, Carrasco’s husband had discovered an alleged affair, which prompted him to withdraw all the money from their bank accounts. He’d also reportedly taken Carrasco’s phone.
Officers also learned that Carrasco might have been with a male friend on May 1; when officers visited the man’s home, they met with his mother, who said that a woman had been at her house that weekend but had been picked up by her husband around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, the day Carrasco reportedly walked away from her home. The male friend in question was not at the home and had been away for the weekend coaching a team out of town. Investigators said they tried to ping Carrasco’s phone, but it was off; that’s when they upgraded her status to “at risk”.
Initially, Burney said her brother-in-law seemed to be cooperating with the investigation and had even agreed to take a polygraph test.
“Then I learned from someone that he still had her phone when he told me he didn’t, that she had her phone with her. So they (the police) called him and asked him to come in and at that point, he stopped cooperating and that was it,” Burney said.
According to Burney, there’s been very little progress in the case since.
“That’s the most frustrating thing…all this time has passed and there’s so much more that could have been done. There’s been no pressure. It’s shocking and frustrating,” she said.
Burney said she’s concerned that something “bad” has happened to her sister.
“What he (the husband) told me was they had an altercation the night before she walked away. There was so much fighting prior to that night that things could have escalated. You hear this- something happened and there was a snap. I believe that something really bad happened to her,” she said.
According to Burney, there’s been no trace of her sister since she allegedly walked away from her home.
“Missing persons will check her social, her driver’s license…she was a registered nurse, so they check to see if there’s been a license renewal, her credit cards…there’s been nothing. You just can’t do that (disappear without a trace),” she said.
Crime Stoppers has now stepped in to try and help the family find answers.
“The hard part of this is that there’s been a lot of tips come in over the last seven years…but I strongly believe there’s other people who know- I KNOW other people know…and you need to speak out or you’re just as bad as who did this,” Burney said.
Because Carrasco had strong ties to both Odessa and San Antonio, Crime Stoppers will be placing billboards in both cities and will offer a reward of $1,000 for any information that leads to finding her.
Loved ones said they hope the billboards will serve as a constant reminder to the public of Carrasco’s disappearance and the reward being offered for information that could break the case “wide open”. They said every detail, no matter how seemingly insignificant, could be the key to solving the mystery.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Odessa Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 432-333-TIPS or San Antonio Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 210-224-STOP.