A wife and mother disappeared seven years ago was murdered by her abusive husband with whom she was preparing to divorce, authorities said this week.
According to the Associated Press, an arrest warrant for second-degree murder was filed Thursday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, against 43-year-old Oscar Alberto Lozada in connection with the July 2011 disappearance of Sylviane Lozada.
While authorities have not recovered a body, they have established a significant circumstantial case against Oscar Lozada and believe he disposed of his wife’s remains.
“This is a very historic accomplishment,” East Baton Rouge Parish Sherriff Sid Gautreaux said at a news conference. “This case was a prime example of the fact that there are no cold cases.”
Sylviann, a Belgian citizen and teacher, was last heard from on July 5, 2011. The following day, her husband bought plane tickets to Venezuela. He later bought concrete, buckets, large plastic bins and luggage locks at a home improvement store.
On July 9, 2011, Lozada and his young daughter left the United States. He told a neighbor he was traveling with his wife as well, but her passport wasn’t used.
Police later searched the family’s home in Louisiana and found Sylviane’s blood on the floor of the garage and also on a window, wall and ceiling. Police said Sylviane had been documenting abuse by Lozada and was preparing to divorce him.
A detective had remained in contact with Lozada using phone and email while he was in Venezuela, but Lozada stopped communicating in 2016.
Lozada is an American citizen but also holds citizenship in Venezuela, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.
In 2017, Louisiana police learned that Lozada had moved to Mexico and they worked with Mexican officials to find him. Investigators began tracking Lozada, and several weeks ago, learned that his daughter, now 12, had moved from Venezuela to Mexico to be with him.
Mexican officials recovered the girl at a school and later arrested Lozada. Police say the girl has been dealing with a lot of emotions and has seen a child psychologist.
Lozada is now in Texas and his extradition to Louisiana is pending. The daughter is expected to be reunited with her family from Belgium.
[Feature Photo: Oscar Alberto Lozada and Sylviane Lozada/Maverick County Detention Center, Handout]