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Search continues for missing Deltona mom, children

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Updated: 11/01/2013 10:48 am
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WFTV) — Searchers are out Friday morning, continuing to look for the bodies of Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her two children, Michael Otto, 8, and Thalia Otto, 9. The three disappeared from their Deltona home Oct. 23.

On Oct. 24, sheriff's investigators said the woman and children were dead, although they had not located their bodies at the time.

On Thursday, Volusia County Sheriff's officials set up a command post at the Duke Power plant on Debary Avenue in Deltona and deputies said about 40 searchers looked through heavily wooded area to the south of the victims' residence.

Suarez's husband, Luis Toledo, 31, has confessed to killing Suarez, according to investigators, but he denied killing the children. He told investigators he killed Suarez when he hit her in the throat during an argument.

Toledo has refused to tell them where Suarez's body is. He has been charged with second-degree murder in her death.

"Luis Toledo could tell us where they're at and we wouldn't have to worry about this. We could take and bring closure to this and make sure the families know where their loved ones are," Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson.

Investigators said they have exhausted all of their leads, so they're expanding their search areas and calling in more departments to help.

"We've searched areas first that we thought had the greatest potential and there was reasons that led us to those areas and now what we're doing, is we're starting back at the center, back at the house," Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said.

Volusia County, along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Seminole and Lake counties, devoted resources to the search.

"We've seen far too often where in a case like this there was no recovery made and anything we can do in our power to make the recovery, so at least they can have closure," Johnson said.

On Thursday, officials released the 911 call from Suarez's mother, who called authorities when she hadn't heard from her daughter, knowing that she had been fighting with her husband.

After the call, a missing person's alert went out and lasted about a day before officials told Channel 9 the mother and children were dead.

Investigators said they have a sufficient number of searchers and don't need volunteers at this time. They did ask that anyone in the area where the family lived who sees anything suspicious call the Sheriff's Office.


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