Loved ones resume search for Moses Lake mother of three who is presumed dead by police
MOSES LAKE, Wash. — It’s been eight weeks since anyone saw 30-year-old Yanira Cedillos, a mother of three, from Moses Lake.
It’s pain her sister Lanny Abundiz never thought she’d have to live with.
“We don’t know how to live without her and we don’t know how we’re going to be able to do this,” Lanny said.
Yanira, a receptionist in Moses Lake, was the third daughter in a family with five girls. Lanny said growing up, there was never a dull moment.
“Yanira, if you see her pictures, completely girly but that’s not how she was growing up; curly, short-haired girl running around, she would jump on anything she could monkey bars, she was such a tomboy, super funny, loving and caring as she grew up, we never thought we’d see that side of her she was a prankster,” Lanny said as she got older, her three children became her whole world.
On her 30th birthday in early March, Yanira went out with friends in Moses Lake to celebrate. Police said at some point in the evening her ex-boyfriend Juan Gastelum picked her up and brought her back to her apartment.
That night would be the last time anyone saw Yanira alive.
“She was so young, her kids needed her, a whole life ahead of her and just because somebody couldn’t take no for an answer, it’s really unfair. We’ve done three major searches where his phone pinged and we haven’t been able to find anything,” Lanny explained.
Lanny is referring to Gastelum. She said he and Yanira dated for a little over a year and the relationship didn’t end well.
“She was completely done with him he had been very abusive to her. He knew she was done and she was moving on and he couldn’t handle that he was calling her over 100 times a day sending messages saying if you’re not mine you’re nobodies,'” Lanny and her family believe Gastelum is solely responsible for Yanira’s death.
In a Facebook post, Moses Lake Police said evidence found in Cedillos’ apartment suggests he killed her then moved her body postmortem.
“He took her life right away, that was the first thing he did and then he was in that apartment doing a whole bunch of disgusting things,” Lanny said.
Gastelum was arrested for Yanira’s murder days after her disappearance. He was found in Hermiston, and remains jailed in Oregon. Lanny said he was supposed to be extradited back to Grant County but that process has been dragged out.
In the mean time, they continue their search.
“We just want to give her a decent burial, a place where her kids and we can go and cry for her and visit her. I really really miss her, just her voice,” Lanny cried.
Despite police and family-organized searches, Yanira’s body hasn’t been found, and Gastelum hasn’t given up her location, so they started an Instagram page.
“So we created that page in order to get her story out, to hopefully get people to help us search because it’s such a huge area,” Lanny said.
Recently, friends and family searched in Othello and said they’ll continue to search, leaving no sagebrush untouched.
“Right now we’re just going to be searching from Hermiston all the way back down here, wherever, I mean we’d rather search than not search. We are really needing everybody’s help to bring her back home.”
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