Broward County

‘A Sweetheart': Friends Mourn Missing Pompano Beach Woman Allegedly Slain by Husband

Irene Lanning Xeniti, 53, had been last seen on May 21 and was believed to be endangered

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Friends of a Pompano Beach woman who disappeared weeks before her husband was arrested and charged with her murder are speaking out to mourn her and pray that her body will be found.

Irene Lanning Xeniti, 53, had been last seen on May 21 and was believed to be endangered.

But on Sunday, Broward Sheriff's Office officials announced they arrested her husband, 54-year-old Ian Lanning, and charged him with first-degree murder in her death.

Ian Lanning
Broward Sheriff's Office
Ian Lanning

Investigators said they found evidence in the couple's Pompano Beach townhome that suggested Xeniti had been murdered in the home and that her body had been disposed of in an unknown location.

Good friend Tasia Tsakonas spoke with NBC 6 by video conference on Monday and said she's in disbelief.

"I just can’t believe it, I mean why would he do that to her, why would he take her life? If they didn’t get along why didn’t they just split up and let her live her life?" Tsakonas said. "She has kids, grandkids, why would he take her life away? I cannot forgive him for that, that is, I’m so upset over this."

Tsakonas said she's visited the couple in December, even staying with them at their home. She said they seemed happy, and were filmed salsa dancing in their kitchen.

"Always happy, always with a smile, full of energy, giving. She would give you good advice, she was a sweetheart, a sweetheart," Tsakonas said.

Irene Lanning Xeniti
Broward Sheriff's Office
Irene Lanning Xeniti

But in the days after Xeniti went missing Tsakonas said she became increasingly suspicious of Lanning, who she said told her Xeniti had left the house after a fight.

"He didn’t care about Irene, he didn’t show any kind of emotions, he didn’t say 'oh my gosh, she’s missing,' anything," Tsakonas said.

Authorities haven't revealed how Xeniti was killed but said Lanning disposed of her body, which still hasn't been found.

NBC 6's Jessica Vallejo has reaction from those who knew the woman as her husband remains behind bars.

Lanning went before a judge on Sunday and was ordered held without bond.

Loved ones had spread the word of Xeniti's disappearance for weeks, but now they're turning to social media again to ask people for help in finding her body.

Anyone who may know anything is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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