Mother’s Day will never be the same for Aldeena Lopez. The New Mexico mother told Dateline that May 12, 2019, was the last time she spoke to her son, Calvin Willie Martinez. Seven months later, no one has seen or heard from the 31-year-old.
“I worry about him every day,” Aldeena said. “Where is he? Why hasn’t he called? It breaks my heart every time I think about it.”
Calvin is one of 11 children raised by Aldeena and Calvin’s stepfather on the eastern side of the Navajo Nation reservation, popularly called the “Checkerboard.”
“It’s a big family, but a close one,” Aldeena said. “We’re always there for each other. Calvin always called me, even when we didn’t see each other for a while. He always called.”
As an adult, Calvin moved to neighboring Farmington, New Mexico where he lived with his longtime girlfriend and their two young sons.
In December 2014, Calvin’s girlfriend and youngest son tragically died in a house fire. Calvin and his oldest son, who is now 11 years old, were the only ones who survived. Calvin’s mother and sister said he hasn’t been the same since.
“It changed him. It changed all of us. They were our family. He was never the same after that,” Calvin’s oldest sister, Becky Martinez told Dateline. “He didn’t want to work, he seemed lost, he just slipped into a deep depression.”
Calvin’s sister and mother said he turned to drinking, but his family stayed by his side and tried to help him through his struggles.
“He was going through so much and we understood that. We tried to help him,” Aldeena said. “Even though he had a drinking problem, he’s still someone’s dad, someone’s child, someone’s family.”
Aldeena told Dateline that in the months before Calvin disappeared, he began hitchhiking back and forth between Farmington, New Mexico and Albuquerque for various construction jobs and to visit friends in the area.
She said Calvin didn’t have a car, so he would travel on foot or hitchhike, especially when going to Albuquerque, which is about three hours away.
When Calvin called Aldeena on Mother’s Day, it wasn’t from his cell phone. Aldeena said he was always losing his, so he called her from a truck stop in Albuquerque.
“At first, everything seemed fine when he called,” Aldeena said. “He told me Happy Mother’s Day and said he’d be home [to Farmington] soon. But the phone cut off. I tried to call that number back and found out it was the Love’s truck stop in Albuquerque. But he didn’t answer. And I never heard from him again.”
Aldeena said she’s been in contact with Calvin’s friends and ex-girlfriend in Albuquerque, as well as an ex-girlfriend in Farmington, and says they have not heard from him.
“I trust them to tell me if they see him,” Aldeena said. “I know they’re just as worried and have been out looking for him.”
Calvin’s family told Dateline they have scoured the area of Farmington and Albuquerque and everywhere in between, but have not located him. They said the stress is taking a toll on everyone.
Calvin’s 11-year-old son, who lives with Aldeena, continues to ask about his father. Aldeena said she just tries to provide a normal and happy environment for her grandson during this tough time.
“He know his dad is missing. We don’t hide anything. We talk about it with him,” Aldeena said. “He still talks about losing his mother and younger brother in the fire. And now this. All I can do is be there for him.”
Aldeena told Dateline the hardest part has been not knowing where her son is, but adds that she’s never giving up, and hopes someone will come forward with answers.
“It’s a nightmare not knowing where he is, or what he’s doing, or if he’s safe, if… if someone did something to him,” Aldeena said. “It’s so overwhelming and heartbreaking. I feel like I’m not doing enough. But I just keep going. I have to. I have to find my son.”
Farmington Police Department Public Information Officer Nicole Brown told Dateline Calvin’s case is still an open investigation and they are collecting information and following all leads. They encourage anyone with information to call police.
Calvin is 5’6” tall, weighs 200 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. He has several tattoos, including one on his right arm that reads “Martinez Family.”
Anyone with information on Calvin’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective Chavez at 505-566-2370, the FPD tip line 505-599-1068, or San Juan County Crime Stoppers 505-334-8477.