The three children of a Miramar woman who went missing a week ago are in the custody of their grandparents after they were removed from their father's home Thursday.
The children of Cid and Vilet Torrez, who hasn't been seen since last Friday, were removed from their father's custody Thursday night following a confidential call to the Florida Abuse Hotline, Mark Riordan, spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families, said Friday.
Vilet Torrez's brother, Javier Blanco, said a family member made the call after Cid Torrez threatened to get a gun and "end it all."
During a shelter hearing Friday in a Broward court room, a judge confirmed the children would be staying with their maternal grandparents.
Cid Torrez left the courtroom in tears following the judge's decision.
"The judge erred on the side of caution," Torrez's attorney, Alvin Entin, said after the hearing. "He's taken the children away on what we believe to be a very temporary basis on a very thin case."
Earlier Thursday, Miramar Police detectives executed a search warrant, searching inside and outside Vilet Torrez's townhouse, removing some bricks from outside.
No gun was found during any police searches, it was revealed during the hearing.
"This is not fair treatment, there is no indication that anything untoward has happened to Mr. Torrez's estranged wife," Entin said. "There's no indication that he's been involved in any kind of improper activity. To levy the whole force of the state, to take away his children, and search his house and do all that stuff I think is a little extreme."
Torrez, 38, did not show up for work at Bath Fitter in Doral last weekend, and her family reported her missing on Monday.
She was last seen last Friday at 11 p.m., visiting a friend. No one has seen or heard from her since – something friends and family say is unlike her.
"I'm hoping and I'm praying to God she's still alive, she would never leave those children, those children were her life," sister Nayiva Blanco said Friday.
A neighbor said she remembers her last conversation with Torrez, about problems she was having in her marriage.
Torrez has been separated from her husband for a few months. Cid Torrez told NBC 6 he last saw his wife Friday afternoon while he was picking up his three children for the weekend.
Miramar Police detectives were back at the townhouse Friday to resume their search, and reiterated that Cid Torrez is not a suspect in Vilet's disappearance.
"We've been cooperating, we've retained an investigator to shadow the police investigation and to assist them in helping to locate Ms. Vilet," Entin said. "Our intention is that she be found and found healthy and well and we think that's what's going to happen and then when this is all over, maybe somebody can say they're sorry to Mr. Torrez."