San Antonio nonprofit trying to help find murdered woman’s remains by using AI technology

“Should I ever go missing, know that my husband did something to me. Hi, my name is Cecilia Huerta Gallego, and these were the last words to someone I trusted.”

SAN ANTONIO — Over the past year, there has been some concern over the use of AI distributing false information, however some feel the technology can be beneficial.

One local non-profit, is using the technology to give a voice to someone from the grave, in an effort to solve her murder.

“Should I ever go missing, please look for me, and know that my husband did something to me. Hi, my name is Cecilia Huerta Gallegos and these were my last words to someone I trusted,” an AI generated image of Cecilia Huerta Gallegos said.

Chilling words brought to life using AI technology, from a woman presumed dead by her family.

Cecilia Huerta Gallegos disappeared in July of 2019, after leaving work early.  Her family says she arrived at her northwest-side home, walked into her bedroom with her husband Reyes Gallegos, where they began to argue.

“Our home security camera footage shows me going into my bedroom, and never leaving again. My husband was filmed unloading two shovels, a chainsaw, trash bags, and cleaning supplies,” the AI generated image of Cecilia Huerta Gallegos said.

Hearing Gallegos speak through AI can be chilling, but Nina Brooks, founder/CEO of the local non-profit Search & Support San Antonio says many are fascinated by this use of AI.

“So the idea is we want to reach this community, that enjoys to watch these AI true crime clips.” Said Brooks.

More than 2,000 miles away in Seattle, Yuvish Chintaram found Brooks, and wanted to help her create Gallego’s story by using his skills in AI technology, which he says is booming.

“In order to use AI in such, use case is very is very limited, and is unique in its own way and will have a very huge impact,” Chintaram said.

Chintaram said it takes about a month to create this image, and in the future he sees it making a larger impact. Chintaram said they even plan on using the technology to recreate crime scenes to help detectives better understand cases and help families get closure like the family of Pauline Diaz who went missing in December of 2010 from an H-E-B parking lot.

If the use of Gallegos’ story resonates well on social media, Search & Support San Antonio plans to generate her image next.

Diaz’s daughter Paula Martinez said it might be difficult to see her mother’s image recreated with AI but the benefits outweigh the pain of not having closure.

“That’s going to keep me from not trying to tell her story, and continue to tell her story and give her a voice,” Martinez said.

Brooks said Gallegos’ family approved the image and script, and everyone is hoping the creation will bring awareness to her case. Gallegos’ husband Reyes Gallegos, was eventually arrested and has been charged with her murder.  

He is currently awaiting trial which has been set for May 2nd.

“They deserve to know where I’m buried. Don’t be afraid to leave a tip anonymously.”

If you would like to see the full AI message you can click here to watch the entire clip.

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