Crime Scene Photos Give Glimpse Into Lives Of Vilet, Cid Torrez
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South Florida Crime
MIRAMAR (CBS4) – The Broward State Attorney’s Office released hundreds of pages of new investigative documents — and CD’s containing crime scene photos and videos — in the murder case of Vilet Torrez on Monday. Her body has never been found.
The documents — and interviews with key witnesses in the case — portray accused killer Cid Torrez as a man obsessed with his wife’s actions in the final days of their crumbling marriage. Specifically, his desire to keep tabs on his wife’s movements and conversations as she began a new relationship. Reports indicate the couple — who had three children together — was separated at the time.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office released several CD’s Wednesday containing photos taken showing the inside of Torrez’s car and the inside of Vilet’s work and personal cars in the days after she disappeared.
The photos give a glimpse into their lives.
In Cid’s car, photos show a Bible with Cid’s picture tucked inside, a box labeled “Star Wars collectibles” and a self help book from televangelist Joel Osteen. In the trunk there’s a box with pictures of his kids, candles and a pair of women’s shoes. We also see a touching letter Cid wrote to one of his sons in February 2012 after family members say Cid had moved out of the family home. The letter is written in Spanish and reads in part, “I know you need me. I’m your best friend, your counselor, your father. I know what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what you’re going through. Don’t get down on yourself, let me help you.”
The photos continue to show that detectives are focused on the pavers outside the couple’s home. The photos show investigators compared tire marks on the pavers to the tires on Cid’s car. There appear to be gouges on the tires and on the side of the car. Also of interest to police — investigative documents show that police dogs alerted to the smell of human remains in the trunk.
The photos also reveal a more extensive look inside the house. The police photos show Vilet’s daily life with her kids — laundry in the dryer, a busy kitchen, a messy child’s bedroom. And a few items that show Vilet’s deep religious conviction — like photos of Jesus on the walls.
In the master bedroom — where police reports show the kids were sleeping the night Vilet vanished — we see the words Mom and Dad spelled out in toy letters on the door.
The police images show that investigators scoured every inch of the home searching for clues. Investigators focused on every spot, speck and mark on the walls.
They looked at a faded spot on the drapes and a towel with something red on it.
Some unusual items were found like samurai swords.
But in all there doesn’t appear to be anything in the photos or video that reveals a crime scene or a struggle inside the home.
Included in the paperwork is an invoice from a Miami-based private investigation firm that shows Torrez spent more than $900 in September 2011 to have Vilet followed. In one of the emails sent to the firm, Torrez appears to be trying to catch Vilet with the man. ” They are very desperate, they have not seen each other in 4 days,” he wrote. “I think the big break is coming (sic). I hope you guys are ready.”
The notes from the firm show that they did not uncover any suspicious behavior.
In the interviews with witnesses and people who knew the couple, specific details emerge of Torrez consumed with spying on Vilet’s actions, including installing spy software on her phone to listen in on her conversations and read her texts.
One friend, Carlos Prada, told detectives that Torrez inquired about where to get an illegal gun, where to dispose of a body and discussed scenarios that could be used to cover up a crime.
Prada told detectives that Cid said “you know I can make it look like a robbery like someone came in. I can — you know hire someone.”
Prada also told detectives that Cid was hesitant to call 911 to report his wife missing. Prada told investigators that Torrez told him, “I talked to a friend and they advised me not to do that because I’m not with her anymore we’re separated that it’s not my problem. (sic)”
However, Torrez did call 911 and made a startling comment.
“And, Friday, as a matter of fact, Saturday morning or Friday night, she didn’t come to sleep, and then I don’t know about Saturday, and now Sunday, I definitely did it, so,” Torrez tells the 911 operator.
“You did what?,” the 911 operator asks.
“I mean um it was 1 o’clock and she didn’t show up either,” Torrez replies.
Torrez’s attorney, Richard Della Fera, told us his client was simply referring to calling Vilet’s mother. When contacted for this story, Della Fera, said he had nothing to add. He has maintained that his client is innocent.
But the comment has followed Cid Torrez.
A woman he started dating after Vilet disappeared asked him about it during a phone call that police recorded.
GIRLFRIEND: “You waited three days and I heard the, the, the 911 call and you said, ‘I definitely did it.’ What is that?”
CID: “I told everybody else. That’s when I called the, her mother. All right? My mother-in-law. All right?”
That woman told police that Cid also told her this:
GIRLFRIEND: “I had asked him, point blank what if she comes back? And he said, you know, that about, you know he’s just gonna give her the kids and then he had mentioned that, um, that after some time when someone’s missing that they declare them dead.”
In the documents released by prosecutors we also learn more about the violence in Cid & Vilet’s relationship as the couple separated. A church volunteer told detectives he was called to the couple’s home in September 2011 when Vilet said Cid attacked her accusing her of infidelity.
WITNESS: “(Vilet) said, you know, ‘He was, he was gonna try to kill me that day.’ You know, what that’s what happened just before I got there.”
DETECTIVE: “But did she say how?”
DETECTIVE: “That’s what she said?”
WITNESS: “Yeah, he was gonna, yeah. Because he, because he said, she said, ‘This is not the first time. This is the second time.’”
As the weeks led to Vilet’s disappearance on March 31, detectives say Cid Torrez sent his wife a strange text message on her birthday on March 18. It read, “No matter where u r or who u r with. ill always going to be with u. U told me u where going to be home. U have a bless b day. I really wish I could be with u. Love u always. A stranger.”
The documents also shed more light on what evidence police are looking in the case. One area detectives are focused on is the pavers in the grassy area outside the couple’s Miramar home. Crime scene photos show investigators are comparing tire marks on the pavers to the tires on Cid’s Jaguar. There appear to be gouges on the tires and the right side of the car.
The photos also reveal the inside the car where detectives say police dogs alerted to the smell of human remains. However, the photos show a couple of tears in the carpeting and no traces of blood. Crime scene photos taken inside the home show that detectives took computers, cell phones, cleaning supplies and even looked at the pipes in the house.
It’s unclear what — if anything — any of those ideas yielded of evidentiary value.
We also learn in the documents that Cid fell in love with a new woman after Vilet disappeared. Police recorded a phone call between Cid and his girlfriend on the day Cid was arrested. The woman asks if Cid played a role in his wife’s death.
“No,” Cid replied. “I did not have anything to do with it. My wife is still out there and what I can do is like only you guys can come and help me find her — all right? — so, uh she can go on, go on with her life and her kids and her boyfriend. All right?”
One neighbor became suspicious when it became known that Cid Torrez told police Vilet did not return home on Saturday, April 1. The neighbors said there were pictures showing Vilet’s car arriving at the home early that morning. Police say Vilet parked her work vehicle near the home then made two cell phone calls to Cid’s phone, neither of which were answered.
The neighbor made sure the 911 operator knew her information.
“Just a few weeks ago (Vilet) told me that (Cid) had tried to kill her and she had told me that he told her the kids are going to be orphans,” the neighbor told 911. “So, I don’t know what to do. I’m nervous that maybe something’s happened to her.”
Court documents also reveal that detectives gave Torrez a computer voice stress test and asked him if he killed Vilet. Detectives say Torrez acted strangely and “showed no emotional or facial reactions whatsoever” when questioned. However, investigators say the testing instrument froze up on several occasions and likely malfunctioned causing an invalid exam.
The new documents add to an already grisly record laid out in the arrest affidavit.
The report details a marriage in shambles and a couple planning to divorce. Police say Torrez spoke to a friend 6 months before Vilet vanished and the friend claims Torrez said “he could not take the cheating any longer and that the marriage was over.” The friend said Torrez told him he wanted to kill Vilet’s new boyfriend and said “either (Vilet’s) with me or she’s dead.”
The report also contains specifics about a violent encounter between the couple in September 2011. A church counselor told police Vilet said “Cid hit her several times in the face while he had her pinned down on the bed” and told her “he was going to kill her.”
The counselor said Torrez admitted “he had been violent towards Vilet in the past.”
Surveillance video showed Vilet returning to her gated community early Saturday March 31. Cid Torrez told police she never made it to her house. But the arrest report says the couple’s oldest daughter believed her mother was home because she awakened by a strange noise in the bedroom next door overnight.
The girl told police she heard “howling” and “crying” coming from the room and “she then heard her father in the other room sniffling and saying, ‘No you wake up’ a couple of times.”
Police say Cid Torrez had his cell phone turned off for most of the day on April first. But police say they did find something strange about Cid’s car — specially trained dogs detected the odor of human remains in the trunk and backseat.
Cid Torrez’s attorney Richard Della Fera has said his client is innocent.