Miramar Police Divers in Vilet Torrez Case Have Difficult Task

The team has a vast amount of water to cover

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    Miramar Police divers have a vast amount of water to cover as they work the Vilet Torrez case. Sgt. Cesar Andina and Frank Dillena explained some of the challenges they face. (Published Friday, July 27, 2012)

    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.

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    Miramar Police’s recent releases of surveillance video and a 911 call, as well as a new search of Vilet Torrez’s home, show that police don’t have much to go on, says Wayne Black, who has been an investigator in the public and private sectors for more than 30 years. Also, NBC 6’s Diana Gonzalez reports on a cease and desist letter Cid Torrez’s attorney Richard Della Fera sent to Vilet Torrez’s brother, Javier Blanco, and his response. (Published Monday, June 11, 2012)

    “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.

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    A well-known nonprofit search organization will be working the case of missing Miramar mom Vilet Torrez, family members said. Texas EquuSearch, a volunteer and donation based group, will be working with local law enforcement officials who have been searching for Torrez for more than two months. Her brother, Javier Blanco, called the group "reputable." (Published Wednesday, June 13, 2012)

    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.

    VIDEO: Miramar Police Back at Vilet Torrez's House

    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.