MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - The children of a missing Miramar woman have been handed over to their father even though police consider him a person of interest in her disappearance.
Vilet Torrez's family has had custody of her three children since she disappeared. Eight weeks ago, they lost a loved one, on Tuesday night they said goodbye to three more.
"We have nothing, now we don't even have the peace of mind that her children are safe," said Julie Blanco, the missing woman's sister-in-law.
The Blanco family delivered the children to their father at his church in Miami Gardens. Cid Torrez was separated from his wife at the time of her disappearance. Miramar police are treating the case as a homicide.
"Not having them there is going to be tough because those moments when you're thinking about her, you can look at them and sort of be happy through them," said Javier Blanco, Vilet Torrez's brother.
The custody fight over the Torres children came to a conclusion Tuesday when the Department of Children and Families dropped its effort to keep the kids away from their father because Miramar police have no evidence implicating him in Vilet's disappearance.
"We're dealing with an individual who is not charged with a crime, who is not a suspect, and the DCF has determined that he has a positive loving relationship with his children," said Richard Della Ferra, Cid Torrez's Attorney.
But the missing woman's family has publicly accused Cid of killing Vilet and hiding her body. They believe the children are in danger in his custody. Vilet Torrez was last seen March 30th when she left her kids with her estranged husband for the weekend, and never returned to pick them up.
"It feels like the first day my daughter disappeared," said Vilet's mother, Gladys Blanco, after she said goodbye to her grandchildren. The Blanco family doesn't know when they'll get to see the three children again but said the loss won't break their determination to uncover the truth about what happened to their mother.
"We're a strong family and you've got to be optimistic and persevere. We believe that and Vilet believed that and it's her spirit carrying us forward and we'll keep on fighting," Javier Blanco said.
It's unclear if Cid Torrez plans to live with his children at the Miramar town home where they lived with their mother, but he has full custody of them without any restrictions or oversight from the Department of Children and Families.
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