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Opening statements conclude in Cid Torrez murder trial

Torrez accused of killing estranged wife in 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Opening statements concluded Thursday in the murder trial of Cid Torrez, who is accused of killing his estranged wife in 2012.

Prosecutors painted Torrez as an estranged husband who was obsessed with his wife's every movement before he killed her.

"He did not want anybody else to be with Vilet," Assistant State Attorney Lanie Bandell said. 

Police said Vilet Torrez was last seen on surveillance video driving into her gated community at 5:17 a.m. on March 31, 2012.

Her body has never been found.

Prosecutors told jurors Thursday that damage to Cid Torrez's car is consistent with Torrez backing it up onto a driveway to remove the body.

Detectives said two cadaver dogs detected the odor of human remains in the trunk and backseat of Cid Torrez's car and at the couple's home.

Bandell told jurors that they will soon hear from the K-9 handlers that were brought in to search for the scent of a dead body.

"You're going to hear him say that when he arrived the dog had a change of behavior right at the front door of the Torrez residence," Bandell said.  

Friends of the couple told detectives that they planned to get a divorce and no longer lived together.

However, a neighbor who testified Thursday said he had seen on multiple occasions Cid Torrez's car parked in different areas of the gated community.

According to an arrest report, Cid Torrez told police that he picked up his children the afternoon of March 30, 2012. Police said he claimed to have come home about midnight, but his wife wasn't there and neither was her car.

Authorities said the surveillance video proves that Vilet Torrez did come home after a night out with her boyfriend.

Police said she made two calls to her husband's cellphone two minutes after arriving, but police said Cid Torrez denied receiving those phone calls.

According to the arrest report, the couple's oldest daughter told police that she woke up early March 31, 2012, to what sounded like a dog howling.

The girl told police that she then heard either her father or mother crying and went back to sleep.

"The howling and cry was simultaneous with and/or overlapping with the defendant speaking the following: 'No you wake up, you wake up," Bandell said.  

Cid Torrez later told police that he spent nine hours at Hollywood Beach alone on April 1, 2012, because he fell asleep in his car, adding that he then swam in the ocean and got his car detailed.

Police said cellphone records showed no activity on his phone for more than 20 hours that day, making it impossible for investigators to obtain a GPS location on his phone during that time.

Although Vilet Torrez's body has never been found, prosecutors are relying on the evidence from the police dogs and testimony from friends and coworkers who portrayed Cid Torrez as a jealous soon-to-be ex-husband.

Detectives said a friend of Vilet Torrez claimed that Cid Torrez abused his wife and said that she saw bruises on the woman's body.

Meanwhile, a co-worker of Cid Torrez told investigators that the defendant once showed him a program that he used to monitor his wife's cellphone. The man said that was how Cid Torrez allegedly found out that his wife was cheating on him.

The defense argues that evidence in the case only proves that Vilet Torrez is missing.

"There is no body, there is no murder weapon, because this man did not murder his wife," defense attorney Richard Della said. 

Cid Torrez has pleaded not guilty to murder. He faces up to life in prison if he is convicted.


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