Mesa woman missing, blood found in her apartment


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 6:27 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 25 at 11:12 PM

Map: Near Southern & Dobson

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MESA, Ariz. -- Police are searching for a missing woman after finding signs of a struggle, including blood, in her Mesa apartment.

Officers were called out to the Village Green Apartments just northwest of Southern Avenue and Dobson Road Thursday morning.

While police discovered evidence of some kind of fight or struggle inside Vanessa Mendoza's second-floor apartment, there was no sign of the 27-year-old woman herself.

This all started yesterday with a 911 call at about 8 a.m. The caller reported hearing a fight in Mendoza's unit. Officers stopped by to do a welfare check, but all they found was an empty apartment. And then they saw the blood -- a "significant amount" of blood.

Officers got a search warrant and spent nearly 24 hours on the scene, trying to piece together what went down in that apartment and what might have happened to Mendoza.

Investigators aren't sure what they're dealing with -- a possible kidnapping, maybe a homicide, or perhaps something else entirely -- and at this point, they don't have much to go on. Police appear to be treating this as a worst-case scenario until they know otherwise.

Investigators have not said if they've been called out to Mendoza's apartment in the past.

"From what my wife has seen, there's been some different individuals in and out of there that aren't too desirable" Johnathon McLane, a neighbor, told 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell.

Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for Mendoza. If you know anything about what happened in that Mesa apartment Thursday morning or if you know where Mendoza might be, you're asked to call the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211.