Janet Avalo-Alvarez

Waterbury Police Chief Fred Spagnolo told a packed press conference this afternoon that the search for missing person Janet Avalo-Alvarez was “grim”. Samples collected from various scenes are being sampled but Spagnolo would neither confirm or deny that the samples were blood.


Avalo-Alvarez was living with Alfredo Esmerli Peguero-Gomez at 14 Ayer Street in Waterbury and they were co-owners of La Guakara Taina Bar on East Main Street. Police spoke with Peguero-Gomez shortly before midnight on November 13th, and he said he had no idea where Avalo-Alvarez was.

After the police left, Peguero-Gomez fled Waterbury and now might be in the Dominican Republic. His car was located in the parking lot of Newark International Airport.

The Waterbury Police Department is actively seeking help from the public to see if anyone saw Peguero-Gomez drivinga grey Toyota Corolla with registration CT AS71380, in the greater Waterbury area between approximately 1:40 a.m. to 3:20 a.m. on 11/13/19. In addition to this time frame, the police is asking for any information about any sightings of Mr. Peguero-gomez or his vehicle from approximately 10:30 p.m. on 11/12/19 and until now.

Chief Fred Spagnolo addressed the press conference this afternoon inside the Waterbury Police Department.

The following information was presented to the media this afternoon by Lieutenant David Silverio (the Public Information Officer for the Waterbury Police Department) regarding the missing person investigation of Janet Avalo-Alvarez……

“Since the police were first notified that Ms. Avalo-Alvarez was missing our detective bureau has focused our resources on investigating all information and leads to locate her. Her family, friends and co-workers are distraught that she is missing and the police department is in contact with the family. The main focus of our detectives is determining where Ms. Avalo-Alvarez is and what if anything has happened to her.

• On 11/13/19 at about 11:37 p.m. the patrol began to look for Ms. Avalo-Alvarez and her whereabouts are currently not known. The police were contacted by a friend who works for Ms. Avalo-Alvarez at the “La Guakara Taina Bar”. This friend had not heard from Ms. Avalo-Alvarez since seeing her at the bar in the evening 11/12/19 at approximately 8:45 p.m. This same friend would later tell the detectives he received a text from Janet at approximately 10:23 p.m.

• On 11/13/19, shortly after receiving the call, the police did a welfare check at the residence on Ayers Street where Ms. Avalo-Alvarez and Mr. Alfredo Esmerli Peguero-Gomez reside. Ms. Avalo-Alvarez was not located and the home appeared in order. Ms. Avalo-Alvarez and Mr. Peguero-gomez own/operate the bar together on East Main Street. The two are in a dating relationship and reside together on Ayers Street.

Alfredo Esmerli Peguero-Gomez

• The police next responded to the bar “La Guakara Taina” located at 675 East Main Street and searched the bar and surrounding area. Ms. Avalo-Alvarez was not located.

• The information that Ms. Avalo-Alvarez was missing was entered into law enforcement databases/NCIC , as well as, shared to all law enforcement agencies via CTIC

• It was unusual for Ms. Avalo-Alvarez to not be in frequent contact with friends, co-workers or employees via cell, text, other APPS or posting on Social Media such as Instagram

• Ms. Avalo-Alvarez’s car, a Nissan Altima was located parked in a lot behind the bar. The vehicle was locked.

• Detectives continued the investigation interviewing friends and co-workers to develop any leads and build an accurate time-line. Detectives are unable to locate/interview Mr. Alfredo Esmerli Peguero-gomez.

Time Line Information

• On 11/14/19 at approximately 1:01 a.m., the Toyota Corolla owned by Mr. Peguero-gomez departed the Ayers Street home.

• Detectives determined the vehicle belonging to Peguero-gomez departed Waterbury, CT. This 2010 Toyota Corolla color grey with CT registration CT AS71380 traveled over the lower level of the southbound lane of the George Washington Bridge on 11/14/19 at 2:39 a.m.

• On 11/15/2019, the NJ Port Authority located the vehicle (2010 Toyota Corolla) registered to Mr. Peguero-gomez in a parking lot of Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Neither Ms. Janet Avalo-Alvarez nor Mr. Peguero-gomez were located.

• During the course of this investigation, all items of possible evidentiary value have been seized and will be examined by the State Crime Lab.

• The detectives are working with outside law enforcement agencies to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Peguero-Gomez.

• The Waterbury Police have no history involving reported domestic disturbances between Ms. Avalo-Alvarez and Mr. Peguero-gomez

• Their relationship was described by friends and co-workers as being up and down, and they argued frequently about personal matters and business issues.

• To date the police have conducted searches by both drone and by foot in several areas in Waterbury. These searches will continue as leads develop.

• The detectives continue to coordinate with local, state and outside law enforcement agencies as all leads are investigated.

• Based upon the investigation to date: the detectives are asking for the public’s help to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Peguero-gomez and the Toyota Corolla, in the greater Waterbury area between approximately 1:40 a.m. to 3:20 a.m. on 11/13/19. In addition to this time frame, the police is asking for any information about any sightings of Mr. Peguero-gomez or his vehicle from approximately 10:30 p.m. on 11/12/19 and until now.

• Someone may have spotted a vehicle matching the description of the Toyota Corolla which may help the police locate Ms. Avalo-Alvarez

• Alfredo Esmerli Peguero-Gomez is a person of interest in the disappearance of Ms. Janet Avalo-Alvarez.

• Any information the public has to share with the detectives can be made by phone, in person or via an email tip line setup exclusively for this case.

Waterbury Detectives (203) 574 – 6941

Crime Stopper TIP Line (203) 755 -1234

Email Tip Line TIP.avalo-alvarez@wtbypd.org

Anyone providing information can remain anonymous