Deniece L. Herreras, age 36, vanished from Bronx, New York on or near December 15, 1976.

Little is known about Deniece’s early life. The earliest record I could find placed her in Monterey Park, California in 1963 with her then husband, Armand P. Herreras.

By 1966, Deniece and Armand had moved to the Buffalo, New York area and Deniece had become known in the community as a consumer advocate. She’d written multiple letters to the newspaper, and joined groups. She was opposed to the advertising gimmicks used to push unhealthy foods on consumers.

In 1970, Deniece decided to run as a Democratic candidate for the State Assembly. Although she was endorsed by some community groups and seemed to be gaining traction, she dropped out of the race in October. She quickly had a change of heart, though, and re-entered just before the election. She ultimately lost, though.

During the time that Deniece was campaigning, her husband seemed to be very supportive. He was featured in a news article for his willingness to cook, care for their children and keep house so Deniece could focus on her candidacy.

Following the disappointing election, Deniece and her husband filed for bankruptcy, citing campaign expenses as the primary cause of their financial troubles. Deniece told a reporter that she received only $100 in contributions and had spent roughly $5000 out of pocket. She feared losing her home and vehicle as a result of the bankruptcy.

Deniece filed for divorce, and it was finalized in the Bronx in 1974.

Two years later, Deniece vanished. The circumstances of her disappearance aren’t known; her family reported her missing when they could no longer reach her as all calls to her home in the Bronx went unanswered. She was last seen by relatives on Thanksgiving of 1976, and she’d been spoken to on the phone after that, but all contact stopped in mid to late December.

It’s not clear where the children were during this time; I haven’t seen any indication that they were left home alone, though it’s likely she had custody of them. It was pretty rare for a single father to be granted custody in the 1970’s.

Deniece was never heard from again, and despite the fact that she’d been a well known political figure back in Buffalo, her disappearance didn’t receive any media coverage (that I could find, anyway).

Even nearly 50 years later, there doesn’t seem to be much indication that anyone is investigating Deniece’s case. I did see a preview on Google of a Facebook comment posted by one of her grandchildren, but it appears that the original post they commented on has since been removed, so I wasn’t able to see the whole comment. It was just this snippet:

It says she went missing from Marion Avenue, so I’m guessing that’s where her apartment was. I know the Bronx had a very high crime rate in the 1970’s, but I’m not familiar enough with the area to comment on that particular street or neighborhood.






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