SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – CBS4 has obtained chilling new videotape of the recovery of Raquel Calderin’s blue Ford Expedition from a Southwest Miami-Dade canal.
The recovery of Calderin’s vehicle and her remains that were found inside it came after two Miami-Dade Police detectives—Juan Segovia and Jonathan Sabel—made a promise to Calderin’s loved ones that they would never stop looking for her.
“The one promise we made to Danelys and her family is that we would never stop looking for her mother,” said Detective Segovia in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
“I couldn’t make any promises that we’d find her even though I was confident that there was a good chance that we’d find her. We have a great team of investigators,” said Segovia. “I made the promise that I would never stop looking.”
“Detective Segovia told me they would find my mom and not stop until he did,” said the 24-year-old Danelys Maqueira, the oldest child of the 42-year-old Calderin, who was last seen on Sept. 4th of 2012 and who police say was murdered a day later. Her Expedition was discovered in a canal off Krome Avenue about a mile north of S.W. 8th St. on June 16th. Four days later, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified her remains.
“We are grateful for everything they have done for us,” Maqueira said in a telephone interview from her Tampa home, where she has custody of her mother’s 16-year daughter. Calderin also had a teenage son.
Danelys Maqueira said, “We all have suffered a lot with this tragic loss. We truly appreciate everything the detectives and everyone has done for us to find my mom. Now the family can have some closure and my mother can rest in peace.”
Segovia and Sabel recently received the 2013 Arthur E. Felton Investigative Excellence Award from the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association for their work in this case. The P.B.A. said the lead investigators were “honored for the tenacity and outstanding investigative skills in solving a complicated murder.”
Segovia said he and Sabel and other investigators worked a lot of hours trying to solve this case. They also interviewed Maqueira’s father Felix who told them his son was “on the corner of 8th and Krome” the last day that Calderin was seen alive.
“It was a long process,” said Segovia. “We could never have accomplished this without the assistance of our dive team and K-9 team. “There’s two parts to the case. There’s the lead part where we are trying to gather as much evidence and make a case as strong as possible from a prosecutorial aspect of it and there’s a part of the case where you bond with family.”
“We have a responsibility to the family not just to arrest the perpetrator of the crime, the murderer, but also to bring closure to the family,” said Segovia. “In this case because of the kids’ ages and the circumstances behind the case, I felt an obligation to at least bring them that, to bring them the peace and closure of finding the mom one day. That’s the burden that was on me.”
“It meant finding evidence, a piece of the puzzle. That would be important for the case and it also meant fulfilling a promise I made,” he said.
Raquel Calderin’s ex-husband—56-year-old Jesus Maqueira—who was captured on cell phone video with her the day she vanished—was charged on Feb. 8th of 2013 with killing Calderin. Police say he had a history of domestic violence. He’s charged with first degree murder and aggravated stalking. His trial is scheduled to start next month. It’s not known if the discovery of Calderin’s remains in the canal will delay the start of the trial.
Witnesses told police the couple had been arguing in the parking lot of Gloria Floyd Elementary School on Sept. 4th of 2012 the day she vanished. But Maqueira’s attorney, Alex Michaels, said the two were behaving civilly based on short video clips he provided exclusively to CBS4.
According to a deposition with the couple’s older daughter, the cell phone video was taken so she could hear what her parents were saying to each other.
Michaels said Maqueira went to the school to talk to his wife because she hadn’t been around much to care for her children. Calderin had been dating another man who told police he was talking to her on the phone the night she disappeared.
Maqueira and Calderin were married for more than 20 years and had a history of domestic abuse and stalking. Records show Calderin described her husband as “controlling and jealous.”
Police say Maqueira even told them he placed a GPS tracking device on his wife’s car. Records show Calderin filed for divorce in July 2012 and also sought a stay away order against Maqueira.
When Maqueira was questioned several months following Calderin’s disappearance, he reportedly told detectives, “Look, I killed her. Take me to jail already.”
Her defense attorney said that was not a confession.
The police narrative also said Maqueira told investigators “without Raquel’s body, there was very little (they) could do to him.”
Police said there was other evidence, including cell phone records, which put him at the last place she was seen alive—the school.
Maqueira and Calderin’s children also gave police statements which contradicted what Maqueira told investigators.