A Seattle man is desperate for answers about what happened to his wife after he says she went missing during a recent trip to Mexico.
Jonathan Reinhard hasn’t heard from her in about two weeks, he said.
Jenny Chen left Seattle on March 1 for a backpacking trip and planned to spend three to four months exploring Mexico, Cuba, and New York, Reinhard said. At 26 years old, it was a chance for her to clear her head and figure out what she wants to do with her life, he added.
The two met while he was living in China in 2008.
It wasn’t love at first sight, he admitted.
“We met at a place where everybody practices English. And she asked me if I liked Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Reinhard said.
“Just a very warm and dedicated person. And I’m not the easiest one to get along with and we just stayed the course. Yeah. Just fell in love,” he added.
They two eventually moved to the U.S.
Chen was was granted permanent residency and was working toward becoming a citizen, Reinhard said. But she struggled to find work.
One last adventure on her own seemed like the perfect way to refocus.
On March 1, she ventured down to Mexico.
“She’s younger and she wanted to go on one last adventure until she puts herself in the job market and starts working in Seattle,” said Reinhard. “It was a backpacking trip before she started getting serious with her life and finding herself a little bit.”
Reinhard says they kept in close contact through Skype and Facebook as his wife posted photos of her adventures in different cities along the way.
The two agreed to meet up at the Cancun airport on April 15, but Chen never showed up, Reinhard said. The last time family and friends heard from her was four days earlier.
“I’m sick. I’m sick to my stomach. I have to take medication for anxiety. I actually have to try to work for a little bit because I have a job. I’m depressed. I really have little or no energy to do anything,” Reinhard said. “It’s the worst feeling in the world. I never would wish this on anyone.”
Reinhard said he’s filed a missing person’s report, reached out to law enforcement in Mexico and government officials in the U.S. So far, he’s received few answers.
On Friday, he’s planning to head back to Mexico to try to retrace his wife’s steps.
He remains hopeful she will be found, but he fears something horrible may have happened to her.
“The worst case scenario is she’s been moved out of the country and trafficked and I’ll never hear from her and I’ll never know. And that’s the worst,” he said. “The best is she’s alive.”
Reinhard plans to hire a private investigator to help him figure out what happened to his wife. She was scheduled to be back in Seattle on July 5, he said.
Reinhard has created a Facebook page to help spread the word about the search for his wife.