Visions of Slain Girl Appears on Billboard
On June 19, 1991, nine-year old school girl Laura Arroyo was abducted from her San Diego home in California and murdered. Her body was found at an industrial park in Chula Vista, south of her home. In early July a strange sight began appearing on a blank white billboard about two miles away from the Arroyo’s home and from the spot where Laura’s body was found. In the evening, as the light faded from the sky and the scene was lit by street lamps, there appeared on the blank billboard what seemed to be an image of the dead girl, gazing up toward the sky. Large festive crowds began to gather to watch the gradual spontaneous appearance of the portrait.
Laura’s father, Luis Arroyo drove his two sons to see the billboard, but he did not tell the boys the purpose of their drive. When the boys saw the image on the billboard, they said “Laurie! Laurie!
On the night of July 18, the crowd swelled to between 10,000 to 25,000 people. All traffic around the area came to a standstill. The local officials switched off the lights to the billboard, but the residents connected them once again. The image gradually faded, but not before some people say that they were able to see a second face. That face was never identified.
In 2005, a former Chula Vista bus driver was convicted of murder Friday in the grisly 1991 kidnapping and slaying of 9-year-old Laura Arroyo.
Manuel Bracamontes was found guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances and one count of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
A full account of the incident was published in The New York Times, July 28, 1991.