Families raise money to bring bodies of missing Emporia women home

Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 11:51 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two families continue their attempt to raise enough money to bring the bodies of two women home to Emporia after they were reported missing but were later found dead in Colorado.

The Emporia Police Department announced on Sept. 11 that the family of Linda Estrada, 44, had reported her missing after she lost contact with them and did not return home from a trip to Colorado. The next day, the family of Amy Ford, 39, reported her missing as well. The two women were believed to have been together.

Throughout a 10-day search for the pair, law enforcement officials said they were able to ping the women’s cell phones which led them from Denver to a rural area south of Eads, Colo., in Kiowa Co. Ford and Estrada were found deceased on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

As of Sept. 24, one person of interest is in custody on unrelated charges. Their information has not yet been released pending the results of the ongoing investigation. The cause of death for both Estrada and Ford have also not been released as official autopsies also remain pending.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, Rachel Rios, Estrada’s sister, created a GoFundMe in which she stated the pair had been murdered. The families have both been saddled with the costs of bringing their loved ones’ bodies home.

“Linda was a loving, single mother raising her four young children alone,” Rios said. “This unexpected loss leaves irreparable grief and an uncertain future for her children.”

Rios noted that Estrada leaves behind eight children in total, including four minors, ages 15,13, 8 and 7.

“My sister was a beautiful person, inside and out,” Rios noted. “She was always willing to help others in need, whether it was mowing the grass or painting. She cared for her family and was always there for her kids. She was a caring and loving person.”

Rios said the proceeds of her GoFundMe will first be used to bring Estrada home, then to pay for the funeral and burial expenses. Any leftover funds will support her children.

13 NEWS spoke with the family of Amy Ford on Sunday, Sept. 24 who have kept in close contact with Ford’s children. Christina and Amanda Perez said that they want the family to have closure and the chance to say goodbye.

“We’re trying to figure out how to get her back to her kids because she didn’t have any family and everybody deserves somebody to care,” said Amanda. “Our main goal right now is to get her back to her kids.”

The family wants justice for Amy and for themselves.

As of 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, the GoFundMe for Estrada had raised $3,090 of its $25,000 goal.

On Friday, Christina Perez, Ford’s family member, started a GoFundMe to support her children as well. As of Monday, that fundraiser has raised $80 of its $3,000 goal.

To view the GoFundMe for Linda Estrada, click HERE.

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