Search efforts for the mysterious disappearance of a regional vice president of the insurance behemoth AIG have been called off.
The body of 33-year-old Omar Meza was found Thursday in a pond at the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort by Palm Desert Police, in California. Meza was first reported missing when colleagues noted that he’d failed to show up for a meeting. His coat and wallet were located, but there were no other traces of Meza to be found at the time of his disappearance.
The bizarre, sudden, and devastating loss to friends and family was announced on a Facebook page that had been quickly put together in order to help the efforts of locating Meza – Find Omar Meza. Sadly, this story ends in tragedy, however, and one filled with many questions.
Although the body found in the Marriott pond has not been officially confirmed as Meza, who disappeared a week ago, all press conferences related to the search have been called off and the family has already announce their “heavy hearts” as can be seen in the Find Omar Meza’s post above.
The young executive’s disappearance spawned a frantic and enormous search effort in the local resort area, with friends and relatives sharing Meza’s image across social media in the hopes he would be identified and brought home safely.
Meza’s family wrote Thursday:
We are with heavy hearts tonight as we announce the passing of Omar Meza. He was a very loved son, husband, brother & friend. It brings tears to our eyes to see how well loved Omar was.
It’s a sad turn of events, to be sure, as the family was confident as late as Thursday morning that Meza would eventually be found safe and sound. Meza’s wife, Diane, has remained in Palm Desert, California ever since her husband disappeared, and vowed to remain there until he was found. She told the Desert Sun:
I’m not leaving until I find him.
Many of the resort’s ponds in the area had been searched by both dogs and dive teams, but to no avail until later in the day, Thursday.
An Uber driver claims to have seen Meza dropped off late Jan. 8 at the Palm Desert resort, which is about a mile away from the Courtyard Palm Desert Marriot where Meza and his wife had been staying. Surveillance video from the Palm Desert resort shows Meza walking into the hotel, then quickly leaving. From the looks of it, coupled with the wrong location, Meza’s family believes he was likely disoriented for some reason.
According to his LinkedIn account, Meza had been employed by AIG in Los Angeles for the last ten years. Everyone at his local office “thought highly of him,” AIG spokesperson Larry Mark said in a phone call with the New York Daily News.
Mark also declared in a public statement:
Our thoughts and prayers go to the entire Meza family during this very difficult time.
The body assumed to be Meza’s has been taken to a coroner’s office for official identification, as well as to determine the cause of death.
It will be very interesting to see if any telltales signs will be present upon examination that might account for Meza’s disorientation.