UPDATE: Missing Elkhart woman’s car found burned

Elkhart County, Ind. Elkhart Police say the Dodge Caravan registered to a missing Elkhart woman was found “damaged by extensive fire” when it was found in Wakarusa Thursday.

Anastasia Reyes-Cortes, 39, was reported missing on August 27.

She was last seen shopping alone at a Kroger on 130 W. Hively in Elkhart, Ind. at approx. 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, August 26.

Elkhart Police suspect foul play related to her disappearance, and the investigation remains on-going.

They are waiting to release further details that might compromise the investigation.

Reyes-Cortes works at a plant in Bristol and currently lives in Elkhart with her husband and two young daughters.

“The girls, they know about the case, they ask me, they know the police will bring her back,” the missing woman’s husband, Rebbiano Ortega, told NewsCenter16 in Spanish. “We keep searching.”

In the week since Reyes-Cortes disappearance, a community group has come together to pass out flyers.

“She’s part of the community, she’s part of all of our lives,” said community member Delia Vasquez.

Local immigration and criminal defense attorney Felipe Merino says Reyes-Cortes disappearance may be part of a larger problem for Hispanic women in the area.

“There have been women in the community that have been filing complaints regarding being followed and being harassed when they go do their grocery shopping,” Merino told NewsCenter16. “So they're really scared -- they're concerned that this might be connected to that.”

None of the woman’s friends and family members could recall Reyes-Cortes talking about being followed or harassed. Now they are hoping that someone with information will step forward.

“It’s another good citizen in our neighborhood that's missing now and we really want this case to be solved,” said community member Jay Zelya. “We know the police are busy, they're doing the best they can so we as a community we want to do everything we can do, too.”

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Anastasia Reyes-Cortes is asked to call the Elkhart Police Department at 295-7070.

The detective sergeant on this case can be reached at 574-295-7076.

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