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COLD CASE: South Jersey Family Pleads For Answers 12 Years After Woman's Disappearance

Stephanie Rosado left her Camden home on April 12, 2009 and got into a vehicle with an unknown person. Some of her remains washed up along the Delaware River in 2009, 2012, and 2017. Detectives have been investigating her case as a suspicious death.
Stephanie Rosado left her Camden home on April 12, 2009 and got into a vehicle with an unknown person. Some of her remains washed up along the Delaware River in 2009, 2012, and 2017. Detectives have been investigating her case as a suspicious death. Video Credit: Camden County Prosecutor's Office

A South Jersey woman's family is pleading for answers nearly 12 years after her disappearance.

Luz Maldonado briefly saw her daughter, Stephanie Rosado, around New Year’s Day in 2009. She had no idea it would be the last time she saw 26-year-old Stephanie, her first-born child, alive.

“Beautiful, beautiful daughter," Maldonado said.

"She was always with her son, she always came over every other weekend or every weekend, holidays."

That was, Maldonado said, until she got married.

After getting married, Stephanie got involved in a high-risk lifestyle, often going for periods of time without seeing family or friends. It was during one of those periods that she went missing, Maldonado said.

“The last person to see Stephanie Rosado alive was her roommate," said said Lt. Paul Audino of the Camden County Prosecutor's Major Crimes Unit.

That was on Easter: April 12, 2009. 

"She took a backpack, he thought she was going to see her son," the lieutenant said. "She walked out the door, she got into a vehicle with an unknown person and that’s the last time she was seen alive."

On May 23, 2009, a piece of human remains washed up along the Delaware River. It wasn’t until 2011 that the remains were confirmed to be from Stephanie. In 2012, more remains were found along the river.

When those remains were linked to Stephanie in 2013, who was actively reported missing out of Camden, Lt. Audino received the case. From there, he had to work to figure out what happened four years earlier.

“We’ve backtracked to the point where we know where she was living and what she was doing for the previous year or two, but there’s still that one to two months from the last time somebody saw her until her first human remain was found that we can’t figure out where she was, what she was doing, or who she was with,” said Lt. Audino.

In 2017, another piece of Stephanie’s remains washed up along the river. However, without all of her remains, Lt. Audino said the case is categorized as a suspicious death until more evidence can be collected. Maldonado said the hardest part is not knowing what happened to her daughter, but believing someone has the answers – they’re just not coming forward.

“Devastating,” said Maldonado. “I can’t even imagine, you know what I mean? It’s so hard for me to talk to you right now, I’m ready to break down, but I’m going to keep it together.”

“As time goes on, certain people start to remember different things. Maybe now they want to come forward and say certain things which they didn’t want to in the past,” said Lt. Audino. “So much time has gone by, I’m hoping somebody wants to give information now to us to help us further the investigation.”

For now, Stephanie’s family says they’ll continue holding on to hope that her case will be solved.

“I just want them to come forward because I need this closure,” said Maldonado. “I really do.”

If you have any information regarding the disappearance and suspicious death of Stephanie Rosado, please contact Detective Mike Batista at 856-676-8175 or send a confidential tip to ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org.

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