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Officials Seek Woman Son Says Is Dead

November 14, 2003|From Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Authorities searched Thursday for a woman whose blood-spattered 3-year-old son said was killed by a man she had been told by her husband to stop seeing.

Numerous leads have developed in the case of Bertha Anguiano, 33, missing since Monday, but none has panned out, and "we're left with one devil of a mystery to contend with," Sheriff Ken Furlong said at a news conference. "We're right back to square one. We have the story from the 3-year-old, and that's where we stand."

The sheriff said he doubts the missing woman is dead, despite her son Andrew's statements that he was hit and his mother killed by a man known only as Juan Carlos.

The boy "probably doesn't have the ability to recognize death and consciousness at this point," Furlong said. "I do believe something happened. We've got no trail of it, however."

The missing woman's husband, Filiberto, 32, initially withheld information about a heated confrontation he had with his wife over Juan Carlos, Furlong said, adding that the husband was questioned and remained cooperative and informative.

"I don't suspect him of any involvement at this point in time," he said.

Authorities focused their search in the Dayton area, a small town on Highway 50 in the desert east of Carson City. They searched rural roads, canyons and the Carson River.

Lab tests are being conducted on the blood found on the boy's clothing to determine whether it belongs to him. He was scratched and bruised when found in the parking lot of a Dayton grocery store.

About 90 minutes earlier, the boy had left his Carson City home with his mother to drop off one of his brothers at school. The mother's car was found at the school, but her keys, purse and about $3,700 in weekend receipts from the family's video rental store were missing.

Furlong said the missing woman and Juan Carlos had "frequent contact" at the video store and elsewhere over the last several weeks. He called it "a discrete relationship" that caused arguments between the Anguianos, but he declined to say whether the woman and Juan Carlos were lovers.

The spouse told police that Bertha Anguiano was very upset by his accusations after he confronted her, although she didn't deny it, and the meetings continued.

The sheriff said he's puzzled that no relatives, friends or neighbors have been able to provide a last name for Juan Carlos.

The Anguianos' children -- Andrew, and his brothers, Chris, 6, and Eddie, 9 -- have been taken to their grandparents' home in California.

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