LIVE VIDEO: WTLV Live Video_1    Watch
 
LIVE VIDEO: First Coast News at Noon    Watch
 

Search for bodies of missing mom, Yessenia Suarez, and her children continues

10:01 AM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- Investigators in Volusia County continue to search for the bodies of Yessenia Suarez and her two children.

The only person of interest in the case, her husband Luis Toledo, is being held on no bond for a domestic battery charge.

"If he had objected, then I would have brought out some of the circumstances of our investigation and say he's the subject of a murder investigation," said Assistant State Attorney Ryan Will.

In court, Toledo objected to being "illegally detained" because he was arrested without a physical warrant in hand. Even his public defender admitted he knew that wouldn't work.

"I have been alerted by my office that this is a potential first-degree murder charge coming," said Assistant Public Defender Roger Lewis.

Will would not reveal what Toledo has told investigators about his wife and the children.

"We're hopeful that he will continue speaking to us, but that's entirely up to him," said Will.

On Thursday evening, deputies confirmed the deaths of 28-year-old Suarez and her children, 9-year-old Thalia Otto and 8-year-old Michael Otto.

Toledo is said to be cooperating with deputies. Investigators said they will not reveal how they know the family is dead, but have searched several locations in the central Florida area, including the victim's home and a field in Sanford.

"We have been talking with him, but as far as how many times and what he said, I'm afraid I cannot go into detail," said Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brandon Haught.

"This is a sensitive investigation. We want to make sure it comes to a satisfactory conclusion and make sure the family gets satisfaction when this is finally all over."

The search for Suarez and her children began on Wednesday when the three were not at their home on Covent Gardens Place in Deltona after a family member requested a well-being check.

A family member said Toledo had shown up at her place of work in Lake Mary on Tuesday and hit her, and that Suarez was afraid of Toledo. Authorities obtained a search warrant Wednesday night and were taking photographs and video inside the home in hopes of uncovering evidence that could explain their disappearance.

Luis Toledo has long criminal history
Yessenia Suarez's husband, Luis Toledo has an extensive criminal history, including several counts of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling between 1997 and 1999. However, those charges were dropped.

He served a year in prison for a burglary in Orange County.

In 2000, he was charged with attempted second-degree murder and kidnapping in Orange County, but the case was dismissed before going to trial.

In June 2012, a woman requested a temporary injunction against him, claiming he sent her a series of text messages threatening to hurt her and take her children.

No one has been charged in the family's deaths.

Friends trying to make sense of Yessenia Suarez's death
The death of Yessenia Suarez is not only devastating to her family, but also to classmates and professors at Rollins College.

"She was one of my advises and was four classes away from graduating so this is very hard to see," said academic adviser Debbie Tatum.

Suarez was a student at Rollins College and preparing to graduate in the spring. She was studying organizational behavior.

Her professors tell us she was a stellar student and would have been graduating with honors.

"Now we have a classroom with an empty seat, and on May 10, when she should have been graduating, there will be an empty space at commencement and that just hurts. Just hurts us," said Director of Student Services Connie Holt.

Suarez was not only a full-time student, but also working in Lake Mary at American K-9 Detection Services.

Her family at Rollins said they want justice for her death.

"She worked so hard for that degree, balancing work, children, school and a semester away and this fool just takes her away like that, it's heartless," said Holt.

WESH

Most Watched Videos