The heartbroken daughter of a missing Pompano Beach woman who investigators say was brutally murdered by her own husband is speaking out in the hopes that her mother's body will be found.
Ashley Griffin alerted authorities last month that her mother, 53-year-old Irene Lanning Xeniti, was missing.
But Broward Sheriff's Office investigators said by the time the missing person report was filed, Xeniti had been murdered, allegedly by her husband, 54-year-old Ian Lanning.
"I’m upset. I’m angry. There’s just a lot of different emotions that I’m feeling right now," Griffin said Tuesday. "I really don’t understand what could make somebody do such a horrific thing especially to my mother."
Authorities said they were first notified that Xeniti was missing on May 29, but Lanning lied to them telling them he hadn't seen his wife since May 14 when she left their home after an argument.
Detectives believe she was murdered the morning of May 21, and said there's evidence that her body may have been in Lanning's car.
What he allegedly did with her body remains a mystery.
Griffin, who made that May 29 report to authorities, said she now just wants closure.
"Where is my mom? Let me bring my mother home. Please let me bring my mother home," she said.
Lanning was arrested on a first-degree murder charge on Saturday. Investigators said they found evidence in the couple's Pompano Beach townhome that suggested Xeniti had been murdered there before her body was disposed of in an unknown location.
"There's a large amount of evidence to indicate that somebody did not leave that house alive," BSO Sgt. Bryan Tutler said at a news conference Tuesday. "We're still searching for a lot of answers."
Investigators haven't said how they believe Xeniti was killed but said it could have involved anything from a shooting to blunt force trauma. But they're pretty certain that it happened at the couple's home and that there was an attempt to clean up the crime scene.
"There was a lot of evidence, forensic evidence, that we could see inside the house, indicated an attempt to clean up," Sgt. Kevin Forsberg said. "Obviously, with giving a little respect to the family, we're not going to give details on what we saw in there, cause they are pretty graphic, it's pretty horrific what we saw in there."
Detectives said Lanning never filed a missing persons report and was "nonchalant" about her leaving him. Once they discovered inconsistencies in his story, the case went from a missing person to a homicide, officials said.
"He was very nonchalant in suggesting that she left him. That was one of the red flags that stuck out when we tracked their last movements and where their locations were and what they were doing as far up to the 21st," Forsberg said.
Detectives believe Xeniti's body may have been disposed of in a body of water, and said they've been focusing their search on the Intracoastal waterways in the northern end of Broward County, from Hillsboro Inlet south.
Xeniti and Lanning had been a couple for around eight years and were married for around two years, and friends said there had been a history of marital issues, detectives said.
Griffin said she didn't really know Lanning but thought the couple was happy.
"We’ll never be able to speak to her, see her," Griffin said. "To have somebody taken away so suddenly and so horribly, there’s no words to explain the pain that we feel right now."
Investigators said they're still searching for the body and are also seeking anyone who may have had contact with Lanning in the past month.
Anyone who may know anything is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.