Family memorializes missing mom, children

Yessenia Suarez, kids remembered before Christmas


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds attended a memorial service for Yessenia Suarez and her two children on Saturday.

The bodies of Suarez and her two children, 9-year-old Thalia Otto and 8-year-old Michael Otto have not been found, but deputies have declared them dead.

"We're not done yet, we're not done yet and we will continue," said Ruben Perez, Suarez's stepfather, who was one of several people who spoke at the memorial.

Perez hopes the new year will bring new leads in the search for the bodies.


No one has seen or heard from Suarez or the kids since October 23.

Yessenia's husband, Luis Toledo, told investigators he killed his wife but wont say where her body is.

"These 60 days have been the longest days of my life, and he is the only one that knows," Felicita Perez, Yessenia's mother.

Suarez and her two children were reported missing after her mother could not reach her and the grandmother learned the two children did not show up at school, according to Volusia County sheriff's reports.

Sheriff's investigators and family members said Suarez was having marital problems with her husband, 31-year-old Luis Toledo, and had gone home the night before she disappeared to talk to Toledo about a separation and a divorce, family said.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, Toledo claimed to be a martial arts expert and confessed that during the argument over their troubled marriage he struck Suarez in the throat, killing her. Toledo was charged with second-degree murder.