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Search for bodies of Deltona mother, children on hold

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Updated: 10/28/2013 2:41 pm
DELTONA, Fla. -- The search for the bodies of a Volusia County mother and her two children was put on hold Monday morning while investigators regroup, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said they are going to gather and look over their notes while they decide how best to continue the search.

Authorities have been searching for 28-year-old Yessenia Suarez and her two children, 8-year-old Michael Otto and 9-year-old Thalia Otto, since they disappeared Wednesday. On Thursday investigators announced the mother and children are dead, but their bodies have yet to be located.

"I do have a feeling (Yessenia) is gone. I do have that feeling. But I hope my grandkids, I feel like my grandkids are alive," said Suarez's mother Felicia Perez on Monday.
Luis Toledo, 31, is the husband of Suarez and sole person of interest in the case. He has been in custody in Volusia County on a domestic battery charge since Wednesday. No charges have been filed in connection with the disappearances.

Investigators said Toledo tried to kill himself over the weekend.

According to authorities, Toledo was being questioned Saturday morning when he asked to use the bathroom. Officials said Toledo was guarded by a deputy but forced the doorway closed, smashed his head on the mirror and tried use pieces of the mirror to cut himself.

Deputies said he was quickly secured and had to be taken to Halifax Health Medical Center to be treated for cuts, which were non-life-threatening. Toledo has been released from the hospital and is back in the jail, officials said.

Meanwhile, the search continued on Sunday for the victim's bodies. A spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said they were searching outside of the county, but no further details are being released.

WFTV was there Thursday as investigators pulled potential evidence out of a set of dumpsters in Sanford. The next day Skywitness 9 HD flew over a landfill in Geneva where investigators were bagging up several items. Authorities would not confirm whether the searches were related to the disappearances.

Suarez's family told Eyewitness News that detectives told them Toledo confessed to killing the three, but law enforcement officials will not confirm that.

Suarez's father, Emilio Suarez, said he's holding out hope that his daughter and grandchildren are still alive.

"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 so far, they haven't found nothing," he said.

The search for the mother and children started Wednesday after family members called the Sheriff's Office and asked for a well-being check on Suarez at her Covent Gardens Place home in Deltona. But when deputies responded to the Deltona address, Suarez and her children weren't there.

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

Suarez was the victim of domestic violence involving Toledo on Tuesday in Lake Mary. WFTV learned Toledo and Suarez had been talking about separating and that Toledo was angry about some text messages he found on his wife's phone. He showed up Suarez's Lake Mary workplace, where he confronted and allegedly slapped her, according to investigators.

Suarez's family said the three went missing just hours after the incident. Toledo was later found and arrested for a domestic battery charge out of Lake Mary.

A judge denied bond for Toledo when he appeared in court on Friday. He remains at the Volusia County Jail.

Volusia County deputies said because it is an active law enforcement investigation, they are not permitting civilians to help in the search.

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Lulu2013 - 10/28/2013 5:23 PM
1 Vote
If this POS admitted to killing this mother and her children, why cannot he be made to tell where their bodies are??? Isn't waterboarding legal?

chantel66 - 10/28/2013 3:16 PM
0 Votes
Is there a second man involved? The kids don't have the last name of Ms. Suarez or her husband, so I'm confused.
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