MIAMI – The husband of a South Florida woman who has been missing since November told his father-in-law that Maribel Torres had gotten pregnant by another man and ran away, leaving him and their children behind.
But police said he told a friend that he killed Torres during an argument and dumped her body in a Broward County canal.
Jimmy Torres, 36, was arrested Friday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his wife.
Miami-Dade police said Maribel Torres was reported missing by her father in April. Police said she had last been seen alive by family members around Thanksgiving.
According to an arrest affidavit, Jimmy Torres told police that he last saw his wife in December, when she packed up her belongings and moved out.
However, an unidentified friend of Jimmy Torres contacted police Thursday, telling detectives that Jimmy Torres confessed to killing his wife during a fight, hitting her on the head with a metal rod.
"He went on to describe that he dragged her out of the residence to the backyard and subsequently concealed the victim in a box," the affidavit said.
The friend said Jimmy Torres told him that he took the box and dumped it in a Broward County canal where the two of them would often go to "relax near the water's edge."
Investigators said the man led them to the canal off Old Griffin Road, where they later found a box with human remains inside. The remains were taken to the Broward County medical examiner for an autopsy and positive identification.
Police said Jimmy Torres refused to speak to investigators without an attorney.
"I immediately knew that he did something to her," Maribel Torres' sister, Mabel Montesino, told Local 10 News.
Montesino said her sister never would have abandoned her children.
"How do you tell that to an autistic 7-year-old if their mother has been there their whole life?" Montesino said. "My sister had already paid for her daughter's 10th birthday. My sister had already bought Christmas gifts."
Montesino said Jimmy Torres is a liar.
"He always had a story to tell," she said.
Jimmy Torres was being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.