Familiar Face at Javier's Missing

By Omar Villafranca
|  Tuesday, May 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:50 PM CDT
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Restaurant Manager Reported Missing

Ayala Family Photo

Jose "Pepe" Ayala, was last seen April 21.

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Restaurant Manager Reported Missing

A familiar face from Javier's Gourmet Mexicano, a culinary landmark in Dallas, is missing.
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A familiar face from a Mexican restaurant that is a culinary landmark in Dallas is missing.

Jose "Pepe" Ayala, who has worked at Javier's Gourmet Mexicano for 30 years, didn't show up for work late last month. The 56-year-old general manager hasn't been seen since April 21.

"I don't sleep. I rarely eat. I just want to know that he's OK," said Carmen Ayala-Heritage, his daughter.

She said her father left to go for a walk and only took the garage door opener. He left behind his keys, the restaurant keys, money and even his diabetic pills.

"He's not a quitter," Ayala-Heritage said. "He's been through a lot in his life, and he's never walked away from a situation. He's always fought through it. This is not like my father at all."

The restaurant owner, Javier Gutierrez, said he met with the staff after Ayala went missing because many were asking about him.

A missing person's report has been filed with police.

The Ayalas have also hired a private investigator, Daniel Gomez. He said he doesn't suspect foul play and is still following up with sources for more information.

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