Photo of Alicia Leonor Banuelos
PALATINE, IL — Banuelos, then 31 from Mexico, was living illegally in Illinois when she lost custody of her four year old daughter, Lyric Garcia, in 1997. Around the same time police had charged her for first degree murder for the death of her youngest child, a newly born baby girl.
On April 29, 1997, Banuelos returned to a Palatine home where she was living at the time. She had worked an overnight shift at a grill factory and then slept through the afternoon. She awoke to labor pains and went to her bathroom where she delivered her daughter without medical attention. The infant, who was not given a name, was born healthy and only lived the first moments of her short life before she was drowned by the hands of her own mother.
She was arrested shortly after. Lyric, the eldest daughter, had been placed in a guardian’s custody pending the result of the murder and custody trail.
Banuelos was scheduled to begin trial on October 12, 1999 for the murder. Two days before trail, on October 10, 1999, during a monthly visitation, she had gone by her sister’s house upset over a meeting with her lawyer. It is unknown what exactly transpired at the meeting but her other sister, who was also at the house, suggested that the three of them (her, Banuelos and Lyric) spend their visit at the local Chicago mall, to get their mind off the custody issue and upcoming court date.
While at the mall, Banuelos snatched Lyric and took off and both of them haven’t been seen or heard from since.
For nearly fourteen years, she has been on the run, evading murder and kidnapping charges in Illinois. She is believed to have travelled back to Mexico.
FBI was eventually involved in the case and Banuelos is listed on their website. According to the FBI, calls were made to a hotel in Zacatecas, Mexico, where she is believed to have friends.
There have been no sightings of Banuelos since 1999, and officials said they do not know if Lyric, who would now be around 17 or 18, is still alive.
Alicia Banuelos will be turning 46 in the year 2013.
Banuelos FBI’s Most Wanted Poster for her physical description and other information.
If you have any information regarding this case you’re asked to please contact: FBI (Chicago) 312-421-6700.