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Royal Palm Beach mother searches for answers in daughter's disappearance

Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-27 17:44:54-05

A Royal Palm Beach mother is desperate for answers. Her 27-year-old daughter Leah Rose Altman, who now lives in California, has not been seen or heard from in months.

And as time passes, she fears the very worst.

Lynda Sanatmaria cherishes every keepsake from her daughter, even old post cards and Christmas cards. They’re little pieces of hope that Leah is somewhere safe.

“[I] would sell my soul to know where she is,” said Santamaria. “That she knows how many people love her and how valuable she is.”

It's been months since anyone has seen or heard from Altmann. About two years ago, the Palm Beach County native moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the music industry.

“By October, she had gone too long without texting me,” said Santamaria.  

The concern heightened in November. Leah didn’t call or text on her mom’s birthday, something that had never happened before.

That's when Santamaria reached out to Leah’s LA roommate.

“[He said] Leah left their apartment the night of August 28t with a small backpack never to be seen again.”

Realizing none of her LA friends had seen her since, Santamaria says she reported Leah missing to the LAPD.
“It’s my guilt as a mother that I waited as long as I did to have the courage to stalk her Facebook friends.”

As this mother began to dig deeper into her daughter’s disappearance, she began to have growing concerns that, because of where Leah lived and who she was hanging out with, that her daughter may be a victim of human trafficking.

“What I fear most is that lack of any banking transitions,” said Santamaria. “What ever you’re doing in life, you need to eat. You need something.”

Now as this mother prays for answers, she wrestles with her worst fears.

“I’ve actually talked to God to say what’s worse? For an independent, smart, beautiful soul to either not be with us or to be harmed an against her will.”

Santamaria says she isn't ruling out anything as a possibility, including that Leah may have ran away. However, given the circumstance she doesn’t believe that's the case.

We have reached out to the LAPD multiple times, so far their detective has not returned our calls.