DELTONA, Fla. - A Volusia County judge denied bond for a Deltona man accused of battering his wife, who has since vanished and is believed by deputies to be dead.
Judge Rob Sanders didn't allow 31-year-old Luis Toledo bond because prosecutors asked that he be transported to the Seminole County jail, since the arresting agency is Lake Mary Police Department.
Toledo, who is named the only person of interest in his wife's disappearance, was arrested on battery charges Wednesday because he allegedly slapped his wife, 28-year-old Yessenia Suarez, at her job in Lake Mary the day before she vanished.
Deputies told Local 6 on Thursday night that they have not found the bodies of Suarez and her two children, 8-year-old Michael Otto and 9-year-old Thalia Otto but they did confirm that the three are deceased. They were last seen on Tuesday night.
Deputies haven't said what evidence they have that leads them to believing Suarez and her children are dead.17577078
Toledo has not been charged with Suarez's death as of Friday morning. Deputies said they will continue investigating multiple leads and searching multiple locations.
Toledo's public defender told the judge on Friday, "they jumped the gun to be honest with you and I think even the state will admit that." Public defender Roger Lewis added, "This is a potential first degree murder charge coming."
Prosecutors said they were prepared to fight to keep Toledo behind the bars.
"If he had objected I would have brought out some of the circumstances of our investigation and said he is the subject of a murder investigation," said prosecutor Ryan Will.
Suarez and her children were reported missing on Wednesday and Toledo was named a person of interest in her disappearance on Thursday, according to Volusia County deputies.
A family member called VCSO on Wednesday morning and asked for deputies to conduct a well-being check on 28-year-old Suarez at a home on Covent Gardens Place in Deltona, officials said. Neither Suarez, nor her children were at the home.
Shortly after, Toledo, 31, arrived at the home and was arrested based on battery charges from a domestic violence incident that occurred Tuesday at his wife's workplace--American K-9 Detection Services in Lake Mary.
According to a police report, Toledo said he went to his wife's work to confront her about text messages found on her phone. Toledo also wanted to speak to another employee and her bosses about the alleged indiscretions but couldn't find any.
Police said Toledo slapped Suarez at her job. Toledo, who deputies say is a known gang member, fled before police arrived at the scene, but he was booked into the Volusia County Jail in Daytona Beach on Wednesday.
Local 6 spoke to Suarez's uncle, who says he hopes that police are wrong and that Suarez and her children are alive.
"Why are you going to declare someone dead when there's not a body? Maybe they know something we don't," said Jose Cintron.
Friends and family gathered around Yessenia Suarez's home Friday night, leaving candles, stuffed animals and signs.
"I miss Thalia, I miss her," said 9-year-old Lillian Poles, through tears.
Lillian became friends with Thalia through cheerleading. Both are in the Sanford Seminole cheerleading squad.
Deputies took down the yellow tape that blocked this street and for the first time neighbors are sharing their emotions.
"I wake up everyday crying hoping they are alive," said Suhail Sanchez.
Sanchez lives across the street and said she's known Suarez and her husband Louis Toledo for four years. She's shocked that deputies said Toledo is the only person of interest in the death of his wife and her two children.
"He was the best neighbor, the best dad, the best friend you could have," said Sanchez.
But Toledo remains in jail on no bond after appearing in court after allegedly slapping Suarez at her job in Lake Mary, a day before she vanished.
"I knew they were going through stuff and I knew about their arguments," said Suhail.
"I can't believe they are dead," said neighbor Nicolas Gonzalez. "This is something I never expected someone to do something, if he did it."
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