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Family of missing Moses Lake woman request help in finding her remains

Yanira Cedillos' family is asking the public for help in finding her remains so that they can find closure.

MOSES LAKE, Wash. — More than a month after police say she was murdered, a Moses Lake mom of three remains missing.

Yanira Cedillos' family is now asking the public for help in finding her remains so that they can find closure.

Lanny Abundiz will never forget the last conversation she had with her sister. A message over Snapchat.

"Telling her happy birthday. And I loved her and couldn't wait to celebrate together," Lanny Abundiz said. "And she said, 'Thank you, Sister. I love you'."

Just a few hours later, Yanira was no longer alive.

"Detectives obtained evidence showing that Yanira was killed in her apartment and her body was moved postmortem," Moses Lake Police Capt. Mike Williams said during a March 10 press conference.

Moses Lake police believe the ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Juan Gastelum, killed Yanira and then hid her body. He was arrested 100 miles away in Hermiston,  Oregon. More than a month has passed, and Yanira has not been found.

"I think it's something that I prepare myself, I try to prepare myself every day that I wake up, I say, okay, you know, today could be the day," Abundiz said.

Yanira's mom has been searching every day.

"She's driving to an appointment. She has a couple minutes, she'll pull over and she's like, wait, this looks like I need to stop here. I mean, she is constantly looking. When she sends the kids off to school, the first thing she does after that is get in the car and she's driving around.

Yanira's three young kids are struggling to accept that their mom won't be there anymore to kiss them goodnight.

"The phone rings and the first thing she says, 'Is that mom?' When we had to go clear out her apartment, she jumped out of the car, so happy thinking that we were gonna go and visit her mom."

Yanira's family is now asking the public for help. They want hikers, hunters and pilots to keep an eye out so they can finally give her a proper burial.

"And we want her home in a place where her kids can go and cry for her. And, you know, we can go in and visit her gravesite."

The family also wants justice. Juan Gastelum remains locked up in the Umatilla County Jail awaiting extradition back to Grant County.

Moses Lake police are in the process of looking at cell phone data, which could narrow down the search area.

Yanira's family are more than prepared to face Gastelum in court.

"He has to respond to what he did. And we will be there all the time. Until justice is served for my sister," Abundiz said.

Yanira's mom is now caring for her three children. A GoFundMe set up to support them has raised more than $46,000. 

If you have any information about the case, contact the Moses Lake Police Department at (509)-764-3887.

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