FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — For five years, Cid Torrez has been behind bars awaiting the day of his murder trial.
“If she’s not with me, she will be dead. Those are the words spoken by that man there,” said prosecutor Lanie Bandell Thursday, echoing what Torrez allegedly told a friend before his wife’s disappearance five years ago.
“She didn’t show up for an appointment on March 31st, 2012, and she didn’t show because that man killed her, and that man disposed of her body,” Bandell continued, pointing at the defendant.
Prosecutors said Torrez killed his estranged wife Vilet Torrez at their Miramar home after she returned early in the morning from a date with a co-worker.
The couple’s three children were upstairs. Their oldest 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.”
Torrez, 43, has maintained his innocence and his lawyers reminded the courtroom that there is little evidence linking him to a crime.
“There is no body, there is no murder weapon, because this man did not murder his wife,” said attorney Richard Della Fera.
The defense also added that there isn’t credible evidence showing Vilet ever returned to home that night.
Prosecutors argued just the opposite, however, saying signs of Torrez’s involvement are all over his wife’s disappearance, from a bloody towel found, scuffed stones outside the home and cadaver dogs reacting to the trunk and back seat of his Jaguar.
Prosecutors think he hid Vilet’s body and likely dumped her near the Everglades.
In court, Vilet’s father teared up recalling his last phone call with his daughter on her birthday, two weeks before she vanished.
Key witnesses in the case portrayed Torrez as a man obsessed with Vilet’s actions in the final days of their crumbling marriage. Specifically, he had a desire to keep tabs on his wife’s movements and conversations as she began a new relationship.
Police said Cid Torrez had his cell phone turned off for most of the day on April 1, 2012.
During the course of their investigation, they found that he had installed spy software on Vilet’s work cell phone that allowed him to monitor her emails, text messages, and phone calls.
Vilet Torrez’s body has never been found.
If convicted, Cid Torrez faces life in prison.