For weeks now a team of six Miramar Police divers has been on a search to either find missing Miramar mom Vilet Torrez or get a clue to solve the mystery of her disappearance.
The team’s members have a vast amount of water to cover. In Miramar there are almost 100 lakes and canals they have been trying to investigate.
“It’s like a needle in a haystack,” said one of the Miramar Police divers, Sgt. Cesar Andina.
On Friday afternoon, the divers showed NBC 6 some of the challenges they face as they searched the murky waters of a lake off of Miramar Parkway west of I-75.
Torrez, 38, was reported missing by her estranged husband, Cid Torrez, in early April. Authorities suspect foul play and named Cid Torrez a person of interest, though he has said he did not see or have contact with his wife on the early morning she disappeared.
Andina said it’s very difficult to see underwater, and confirmed that he therefore has to be very careful with his movements.
“Yes, and the problem with the dry suit is it changes your buoyancy,” he said.
Once a diver is submerged, much of the search is done by feel, not sight.
“You have to not only search the bottom, but you have to actually search the water column above it because the body can float after a certain period of time,” diver Frank Dillena said. “So depending on how you do your search you can do a side to side or a parallel search, where you do several passes and different depths.”
Covering just the lake the team was checking out on Friday takes time.
“This entire body of water, it can be 2 to 3 days, easily,” Andina said.
In the Torrez case, or any other, the divers hope for a tip or lead that cuts down the water they need to cover.
“That gives us a reduced search area and we concentrate on the area based on the environment,” Dillena said.
Each time they go in the water, divers hope to find a clue to break open the mystery of what happened to Vilet Torrez.
The attorney for Cid Torrez said Friday that his client is hopeful she will be found alive and reiterated that he had nothing to do with her disappearance.