Investigators searching for bodies of missing mother, children

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Updated: 10/25/2013 6:24 pm
DELTONA, Fla. -- Volusia County Sheriff's investigators are searching for the bodies of a Deltona woman and her two young children believed who are believed dead after disappearing Tuesday night.

Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson confirmed that Yessenia Suarez and her children -- 8-year-old Michael Otto and 9-year-old Thalia Otto -- are dead but they did not release any additional information.

Suarez's husband, Luis Toledo, 31, has been named a person of interest in the case and is being questioned by authorities, but no charges have been filed.

Suarez's family told WFTV that detectives told them Toledo confessed to killing the three, but detectives would not confirm that.

Suarez's father, Emilio Suarez, talked to WFTV on Friday and said he had a different take than the rest of the family. Emilio Suarez said he's holding out hope that they're alive until he gets proof that they are deceased.

"I've been praying a lot, and I'm hoping my daughter is with my grandkids. So we don't have that much information from the police. Yesterday, I spoke with a couple of deputies, can't say names because that will interfere with the investigation. But they got a lot of stuff like that. But so far, they haven't found nothing," he said.

On Wednesday morning, family members called the Sheriff's Office and asked for deputies to conduct a well-being check on the 28-year-old mother at her Covent Gardens Place home in Deltona. But when Volusia sheriff's deputies responded to the Deltona address, Suarez and her children weren't there.

On Thursday, investigators from Volusia County crossed jurisdictions to pull potential evidence out of a set of dumpsters in Sanford.

Authorities said one of Yessenia's two vehicles was found by Lake Mary police at a Publix parking lot, but there was no sign of her or her children.

Authorities are calling the disappearance suspicious because Suarez had been the victim of domestic violence in Lake Mary on Tuesday.

WFTV learned Toledo and Suarez had been talking about separating and that Toledo was angry over some text messages he found on his wife's phone. That's when he showed up at American K-9 Detection Services, where he confronted Suarez and allegedly slapped her, authorities said.

Witnesses said Toledo was calm when he left the business Tuesday. But when investigators told him over the phone that he could face charges for slapping his wife, they said Toledo got angry and hung up on them.

Suarez's family said the three went missing just hours later.

Authorities said Toledo arrived at the house a short time later and was subsequently arrested based on Lake Mary Police Department's battery charge from the previous day. He was booked into the Volusia County Jail in Daytona Beach.

Authorities spent Friday searching for the bodies though they won't say where they are searching.

Toledo appeared in court on Friday in connection with the domestic charges.

Channel 9's Blaine Tolison was in court on Friday as Toledo appeared before a judge on domestic violence charges. Toledo's was sent back to jail but his defense attorney argued his client's incarceration was illegal.

Tolison asked those who were there for Toledo if there was anything they wanted to say in his defense, but none wanted to speak.

"We don't know what's going on. Stop asking questions," one person said.
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