Entries in Missing Mother (4)


Missing Florida Mom: Husband Says 'I Definitely Did It' in 911 Call

Courtesy Blanco Family(MIRAMAR, Fla.) -- The estranged husband of a missing Florida mom told a 911 dispatcher that he "definitely did it" before changing course in an April 2 call to report his wife's disappearance.

Under Florida law, police could not release the identity of the caller, but Cid Torrez, the estranged husband of Vilet Torrez, 38, has previously told ABC News he was the person who reported her missing Monday, April 2.

The recording was released by the Miramar Police Department on Tuesday.

"I don't know.  Saturday, she wasn't here, all right?  And, Friday, [unintelligible] Saturday morning or Friday night, she didn't come to sleep, and then I don't know about Saturday, and now Sunday, I definitely did it, so ..." the caller said.

"You did what?" the dispatcher asked.

"I mean, um, it was 1 o'clock and she didn't show up either," the male voice said.

"OK, so she's been missing since Friday?" the dispatcher asked.

The caller said he guesses that is the case.

Police have called Cid Torrez a person of interest but have reiterated that he is not a suspect and has cooperated.

Richard Della Fera, Cid's attorney, said the statement that he "definitely did it" was made during a time when his client was distraught and trying to recount the calls he made to Vilet and her mother that led to the 911 call.

"Around 1 a.m., he called Vilet's mother for the first time to explain that he had not heard from Vilet all weekend.  This was a call he did not want to have to make," Della Fera said in a statement issued to ABC News' Miami affiliate.  "In listening to the 911 call, it is clear that Cid was recounting for himself and the officer his efforts to piece together the whereabouts of Vilet for the prior few days and what he had been doing to locate her."

Tania Rues, a spokeswoman for the Miramar Police Department, declined to discuss what the caller could have meant.

"I can't speculate as to what the male caller was intending to say.  I think the 911 call speaks for itself," she told ABC News.

On Monday, Florida police released a surveillance video from March 31 at 5:17 a.m. that showed the missing mom made it inside her gated community.

What remains unclear, however, are the crucial few minutes after Vilet Torrez was seen on the tape.  Phone records obtained by ABC News' Miami affiliate show she called Cid Torrez twice at 5:19 a.m on March 31.  She was reported missing two days later.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Custody Hearing Set for Children of Missing Florida Mom

Courtesy Blanco Family(MIRAMAR, Fla.) -- A preliminary custody hearing for the three children of missing Florida mother Vilet Torrez will be held on Thursday, marking the next step in determining whether the children will be returned to the custody of their father, who has been called a person of interest in his wife's disappearance.

Vilet Torrez, 38, was reported missing on April 2 after her children had spent the weekend with her estranged husband.  The missing mom had recently separated from Cid Torrez, her husband of 15 years, with whom she'd had years of marital problems, her family said.  The woman's car and belongings were found in her driveway.

The couple's three children, Vilet, 12, Cid Jr., 7, and Marcus, 4, were taken from Cid Torrez's custody and placed in the care of their maternal grandparents after an anonymous April 5 call alleged Cid Torrez had a gun and wanted to "end it all."

Torrez's lawyer, Richard Della Fera, told ABC News his client denies the allegation and any involvement in his wife's disappearance.

"He had nothing to do with her disappearance, and we welcome the investigation because we're confident it's going to exonerate him," Della Fera said, adding that he believed Vilet Torrez's family never liked Cid and always believed she married "below herself."

A judge is expected to rule on the custody of the Torrez children on May 10.

Tania Rues, public information officer for the Miramar Police Department, said authorities are thoroughly investigating all possible angles.

"[Vilet Torrez] did not leave on her own free will, and we believe foul play is suspected," Rues said.  She declined to name other possible angles or people who had been questioned but said Cid Torrez had fully cooperated.

Vilet Torrez had dinner plans with a male friend on March 30, Cid Torrez told ABC News shortly after her disappearance.  Torrez said his wife had a new boyfriend whom he had met and had been "around" since she was reported missing.

The missing mother's siblings said they hadn't heard of a new boyfriend in Torrez's life and said Cid Torrez had a history of being "jealous" to the point they worried about their sister's safety.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Missing Arkansas Mother's Torched Car Found in Forest

Comstock/Thinkstock(HOT SPRINGS, Ark.) -- Investigators in a small Arkansas town are baffled after a police emergency dispatcher and mother of three vanished days before Christmas, leaving behind a torched car that was found in a remote part of a nearby national forest.

Dawna Natzke of Hot Springs, Ark., was last seen eight days ago when she returned home after attending a friend's Christmas party. The 46-year-old's live-in boyfriend reportedly told police that she was watching television alone when he went to bed around 11 p.m -- and that was the last time anyone saw her.

Two days later on December 23, Natzke's son reported his mother missing. On Christmas Eve, police were notified that her car, a 1997 Ford Escort, was discovered completely charred in a remote part of Oauchita National Forest. There were no signs of Natzke.

"The sheer fact that the victim's vehicle was found a distance from her residence, burned, at least suggests that somebody wants to cover up potential forensic evidence that might be inside that would ultimately identify perhaps someone who has harmed her," Brad Garrett, FBI expert and ABC News contributor, said.

Natzke worked at the Hot Springs Village police department as an emergency dispatcher for the past six years.

"She's family, and we're doing everything we can do to find her," Lt. Ricky Middleton of the Hot Springs Village police told ABC News.

Police are under fire for not beginning a search of the area where Natzke's car was found sooner. It was not until the day after Christmas that the search of that area began. Police say it takes time to get dog teams in place.

"One of the keys is that the very minute you hear that someone is missing, whether they be an adult or a child, is you pull out all the stops to find them, because if they've been harmed, they may still be alive," Garrett said.

Although there has been an intensive search for Natzke this week, with dogs and police on horseback, there is no sign of her.

"She's a fantastic mother, her children are better behaved than most teenagers you meet, and that's really from my heart," Hella Cass, one of Natzke's neighbors, told ABC News Arkansas affiliate KATV. "We hope for a good outcome for the whole situation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Police Raid House in Search of Missing Orlando Mother of Three

Thinkstock/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Police raided an Orlando, Fla., home overnight as they probed the 10-day disappearance of Michelle Parker, the mother who vanished the same day she and her ex-fiancé aired a dispute on The People's Court.

"Roughly 12 guys piled out, banged on the door, [and] yelled 'search warrant, search warrant,' and basically took everybody out of the house," neighbor Don Partin said.

The home belongs to Dale Smith Sr., the father of Parker's ex-fiancé, Dale Smith Jr., according to reports.

Smith Sr. was removed from the home in handcuffs, witnesses told ABC News affiliate WFTV. Two women, another man and some children also were taken out of the house, according to witness reports.

"They took everybody out, sat them in the yard," Partin said. "And then the cops went in, and the crime lab went in and pretty much everybody from all departments showed up."

It was unclear what initiated the raid.

Parker, 33, has been missing since Nov. 17, the day The People's Court aired an episode that exposed the tumultuous relationship between her and Smith Jr., the father of her two children.

Parker disappeared after she dropped her 3-year-old twins off at the Smith's house, the last place Parker was seen.

Police and Parker's parents have been saying Smith Jr. is not a suspect.

Appearing on the courtroom show, Parker and Smith battled over whether she had to pay for a $5,000 engagement ring she tossed away during one of their spats. The judge ruled the two should split the cost.

In the episode, the couple hurled accusations at each other and fought nastily. A court reporter called their relationship a "fatal attraction."

Parker's parents amped up their search for their daughter this weekend, even offering a $50,000 reward for any information leading to her whereabouts.

That reward had an expiration date of Sunday to motivate tipsters to act soon.

"If you know something, you know it," Parker's mother Yvonne Stewart said.

Parker's mother wanted a time limit on the reward money to encourage people with tips to come forward immediately.

"She's worth millions of dollars to me and my family, but I think $50,000 is an awesome amount," said Stewart.

Earlier this week, Parker's family released her final voicemail and a new batch of photos in the hope that someone would recognize the missing mother of three.

Parker left a nine-second message for her father on the day before she vanished, asking him to call her.

"Anything families can do to keep their case in front of the media and the public, they should do," said Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI special agent.

Parker's family has conceded that Smith's relationship with Parker was volatile, but Smith has also been described as a dedicated and loving father who cared for Parker, even when the two didn't get along.

While police do not currently consider Dale Smith a suspect, they have not ruled him out as a possibility.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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