Life hadn’t been been easy for Leah Rachelle Peebles by the time she moved from Houston, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the first week of May 2006. She had been molested as a toddler by a distant relative and raped at the age of fourteen by an acquaintance.
But for all of her parents’ efforts to raise Leah in a Christian, middle-class home, in the end they could not overcome the damage done by the sexual abuse. Although Leah had been active as a cheerleader, in drama, and a member of the yearbook staff at Carter-Riverside High School, by the time she was a sophomore, she had began to abuse alcohol and drugs – dropping her extracurricular activities she had once dearly loved.
Desperate to save their daughter, Leah’s parents enrolled her in a Christian-based residential treatment center for women known as Fort Worth Teen Challenge at the age of eighteen. After staying at the facility for 21 months, Leah graduated with a cosmetology license and soon took a job at a local beauty salon. Soon, however, Leah relapsed and served two short jail sentenced for a couple of drug offenses. As a result of her second conviction, Leah was fired from the hair salon.
Leah’s parents begged their daughter to return to the rehabilitation facility that had served her so well before but she was adamant in her protests and decided to move to Albuquerque instead. With the recovering addicts old adage that one can no longer play on the same playgrounds once they are clean on her mind, Leah believed a new city and new people would be just what she needed to get sober.
Leah was temporarily staying with friends on May 22, 2006, when she went on a date with a guy she’d met at the Flying Star Cafe where she was to start work the following week. She never returned and no one, including her parents, have heard from Leah since.
Leah’s father has made several trips from Houston to Albuquerque trying to find his daughter but to no avail. However, he has gained information which he hopes will one day help bring his daughter home, such as that Leah was working as a prostitute for her crack cocaine dealer and pimp known as A.J. and that she may have been sold to a pimp in another city.
Definitely not the things a father wants to hear but it gives him hope Leah may one day be able to return home where she is loved and missed dearly.
If you have information about the whereabouts of Leah Rachelle Peebles, please contact the Albuquerque Police Department at 505.242.2677