A Willcox mom is seeking the public’s help in finding her 20-year-old son, who has been missing since April.
Kari Diring and her family had moved to the Willcox area in December 2017 to help her sister, who had a U-pick farm at the time.
Diring’s son, Tino Molina, of Catalina, had visited his aunt’s farm, telling his mother he enjoyed his stay and he planned to move to Willcox but had to “take care of some things first.”
Molina, who goes by the name “Valentino Darkmoon,” lived with friends in Catalina, north of Tucson, and worked at the local McDonald’s. He had lived in the Catalina area since 2008.
When Diring received an April 15 phone call from one of his friends, asking if Molina was with her in Willcox, she became worried that something had gone terribly wrong.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department issued a missing person press release, asking for the public’s help in finding Molina. It said that his family reported 20-year-old Manuel Valentino Franc Molina missing on Tuesday, April 17.
Molina, who has not been seen or heard from since April 9, “is believed to have last been in the area of North Bowman Road and East Whitehill Way (in Catalina),” the press release said. Homicide Unit detectives were assigned to Molina’s case and “it is believed he is missing under suspicious circumstances.”
“Tino would not have gone this long without talking to us and to his baby,” said Diring, referring to Molina’s nearly 2-year-old son, Ashton, who lives in the Phoenix area.
Their own efforts to find Molina have financially drained Diring and her family. They are constantly making trips to follow up on leads, as well as sending out flyers and posting flyers in Catalina and surrounding communities. With every new lead, the family organizes a search party, hoping it will finally be the break they need in Molina’s case.
“We have spent everything we have,” she told the Range News.
Currently, Diring is offering a $200 reward, which may increase, as there is a Go Fund Me account, https://www.gofundme.com/5j5kigo, as well as a benefit account set up at Cochise Credit Union in Willcox.
“I wish that the people there would just tell the truth, no matter what,” she told the Range News. “Please let us have closure so that we can heal.”
About a month ago, Diring learned of the agency, “We Bring You Hope,” which is helping to expand the search for Molina. Its own tip-line number is 888-5-HOPE-02.
Diring and her family are not giving up. “Tino wouldn’t leave any of us behind, so we’re not leaving him behind,” she told the Range News.
Molina is described as 6 feet tall, weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information regarding Molina’s whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1, or the Pima County Sheriff at 520-351-4900. An anonymous tip, with the potential for a reward, may be submitted via text or phone call, or by going to the website 88-CRIME.org.