Family Of Missing Miramar Mom Angry Over Custody Call
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MIRAMAR (CBS4) – A Broward County Judge signed off on a court order Tuesday to return three children of a missing Miramar woman to her husband.
The children were reunited with their father late Tuesday evening at a Northwest Miami-Dade church.
Vilet’s husband, Cid Torrez, has been named a person of interest in his wife disappearance and presumed murder. Cid Torrez has not been charged with a crime.
The court order confirms a decision made by the Department of Children and Families to return the children to Cid Torrez.
In a statement from DCF, a spokesperson said the agency had serious concerns about the safety of the Torrez children but explained its’ rationale saying, “In an abundance of caution, the children were sheltered and a dependency action initiated. Since the initial shelter of the Torrez children, our collective investigation hasnot produced competent evidence to support a continued dependency action.”
The family of Vilet Torrez — missing since late March — is angry over the decision.
“There’s nothing to say that a person of interest in a homicide cannot have their children back,” Javier Blanco, Vilet’s brother, said Tuesday night. “So that’s appalling to me. I think it’s absurd.”
The children — Vilet, 13, Cid, 8, and Marcus, 5, — were taken from their father in the days after their mother disappeared.
Cid Torrez’s attorney, Richard Della Fera, said the children were removed because DCF was investigating an allegation that his client got a gun and had an argument with his father-in-law.
But Della Fera said DCF did a thorough investigation and determined the kids were not in any danger with their father. Della Fera added that his client’s status as a person of interest in a potential criminal case should not affect the custody case.
“He’s not been charged with a crime,” Della Fera told CBS 4′s Carey Codd. “The question in this proceeding was whether he was of imminent harm to his children and the Department of Children and Family Services, the Attorney General’s Office made the determination that he is not.
“He loves and wants to be with his children,” Della Fera said.
As the Blanco family moved the children’s things Tuesday, they said the realization set in for them that Vilet is missing and her children are leaving too.
“There are no words,” said Julie Spurlock-Blanco, Vilet’s sister-in-law. “We still don’t have Vilet. We have no answers. We have nothing.”
Della Fera expected the reunion to occur over the weekend but the family of Vilet Torrez said they were not provided proper paperwork.
The reunion with their father occurred late Tuesday night at a Northwest Miami-Dade church.
The children shared a few final moments with their mother’s family and posed for group pictures.
After they left to meet up with their father, their maternal grandmother wept, recalling all that she and her family have endured.
Javier Blanco said his sister suffered abuse at Cid’s hands and that she was trying to divorce him.
Vilet’s sister Nayiva Blanco says she fears her family will lose contact with the kids if Cid regains custody.
“I fear that he might take them away,” she told CBS 4′s Carey Codd. “I fear that he might make a decision of leaving with them somewhere, not letting us see them again, not talking to them about my sister in a good way.”
Wednesday, the attorney for Cid Torrez tried to allay the fears of the Blanco family regarding future visits with the couple’s children.
Attorney Della Fera said Cid Torrez believes “the children should have contact with the Blanco’s.”
Della Fera added that Torrez “does not intend to keep his children from their grandmother.”
CBS4 News tried to reach Cid Torrez for comment but we could not track him down. Last month he told CBS 4 that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance.
Della Fera said DCF workers observed Cid Torrez during two months of visits with his children and determined he is a good and loving father.
“The interaction was very positive,” Della Fera said. “It was very loving, affectionate, a lot of laughing and telling of stories.”
Javier Blanco worries about the children’s state of mind if they wind up moving back into the Miramar home they shared with their mother.
“They’re gonna go back home and I don’t know if they’ve been back home soaked in everything that’s been happening without their mother there,” said Javier Blanco.