DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A possible Santeria shrine, including photos with apparent blood drops on them, was found in the jail cell of a Deltona man accused of killing his wife and her two children, according to officials.
The shrine, discovered in late March during a routine search of Luis Toledo's cell, also included a newspaper clipping photo with a red mark through the name of Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano, who is presiding over Toledo's murder case, according to Volusia County jail reports.
Toledo is accused of killing Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her two children, Thalia, 9, and Michael, 8. He is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of his wife and two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her children. The trio was reported missing from their home in October 2013. Their bodies have not been found.
"That's evil stuff and I don't believe in witchcraft. The man is out of his mind . Probably don't have nothing better to do . He just wants attention and all I want is my family," Felicia Perez, the mother of Yessenia Suarez, tells News 6.
Officials said the shrine also included a paper cup filled with water, an orange and dried bread. Toledo also apparently created a cross from a ripped white T-shirt, and a nose and eyes appeared to have been smeared on a cast that Toledo took from his left hand, officials said.
On each of three photos of the victims was a red dot, possibly made from blood, a corrections officer said.
Officials said corrections officers searched Toledo’s belongings after the shrine was discovered and found a razor and several letters containing gang references to the Latin Kings.
Santeria is a religious tradition of African origin that was developed in Cuba and then spread throughout Latin America and the United States. Santería was brought to Cuba by the people of the Yoruban nations of West Africa, who were enslaved in great numbers in the first decades of the 19th century. Santeria also often includes animal sacrifice.
News 6 called the District Attorney's Office for comment and they declined because it is an ongoing case. And News 6 has also reached out to Toledo's attorney, they have yet to return our call.