Apr 29, 2013 12:56 AM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
KATC is investigating Acadiana's missing people. The oldest case on the books began 21 years ago when Donna Gonzales went missing. Since then her family has been struggling with many unanswered questions.
The 27-year old went missing in 1992. Gonzales had just returned home to Louisiana after spending four years in a monastery training to be a nun. She got a job selling cancer insurance policies, in an effort to start a new life. But her co-workers would be the last to see her alive before her disappearance.
While articles and posters of Donna Gonzales have faded, her family holds onto clear and vivid memories of her.
"It's an every day thing it just never goes away you know. It just...I'm sorry but it just never goes away. You wonder what you do, what you did to deserve some thing like that," Donna's father, Donald Gonzales said.
Today donna would be 47 years old. It was two decades ago that she returned to her home town, after deciding not to enter the monestary.
"She went to Rayne with this company, on door to door businesses trying to sell health insurance and on the way back, she had parked her car in an alley way right next to a grocery store, and ironic as it was the name of the alley was 'Devil's Alley,' where she was walking. And this was the last time anyone saw her," Donald Gonzales said
When Donna didn't return home that day, her roommate called Donna's family.
"She kept calling me all day long, and saying, "Look Donna didn't call me, I'm telling you right now something is wrong." Cause when Donna says she's gonna call you, she calls you," Donna's brother Kirk Gonzales said.
But the next day, when investigators found Donna Gonzales' car down what used to be called "Devil's Alley," the scene had no sign of struggle. They say the car was completely clean and inside her trunk everything was in order: her shoes her purse, and all of her insurance papers. The only thing missing was Donna.
"We searched every place in Rayne, checked every abandoned house, checked under every abandoned house, opened up the man hole covers in Rayne, and to no avail," John Arceneaux said, who was Chief of Police for the city of Rayne in 1992.
Months of leads and searching, and even a private detective couldn't turn up Donna.
"Every day, days would pass, weeks and months, and you just keep hoping. In the end that's pretty much all you have," Kirk Gonzales said.
"That's one of the sad things about it, you don't know what happened. You wonder about was this was what she did, or did she go away, you know by herself, you just never know," Donald Gonzales said.
"Was always hopeful. Always hopeful, a mother never gives up. But i've given up now, let it go. Let God handle that," Donna Gonzales' mother, Helen Gonzales said.
Twenty-one years later, there's now a tribute to Donna in a memorial. It's a good-bye, and a reminder of a mystery, never solved.
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