DELAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Appearing handcuffed in an orange jumpsuit, Luis Toledo sat stone-faced and emotionless in court as he appeared before a judge. Toledo's wife, 28-year-old Yessenia Suarez, and her two children, 9-year-old Thalia Otto and 8-year-old Michael Otto, haven't been seen since October 2013. Their bodies still have not been found, and they are presumed dead. Toledo is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the children and second-degree murder in the death of Suarez. Now, the defense is trying to get some evidence tossed out.
During Monday's hearing, Deputy Garrett Morris, a witness from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, took the stand and testified something in the master bathroom of Toledo's home caught his attention that October day. "On the vertical face of the bathtub, the left hand bottom corner, I observed a small mark consistent with the color of dried blood," he explained.
At some point, the defense tried poking holes in witness testimony. The defense tried, at times, to portray Toledo as a man who was cooperative, even cordial with authorities while at his home. Later, an investigator with the Volusia County Sheriff's office major crimes unit, Bryan Ford, took the stand. He said authorities tried getting more information from Toledo about where the children may be. "Absolutely," Ford said "We made attempts to illicit the information from Mr. Toledo. We had people out in the field, and fielding tips coming in by phone."
Later, Ford told the courtroom he was nearby during a conversation he said Toledo had with a sergeant while in custody. Ford said "Sergent Shepps asked him, I can't remember the exact quote but basically ' Tell me where the kids are, tell me where the family is'. Mr. Toledo, I'm going to refer back to my report for the quote. He replied 'I'm never going to tell where the bodies are.'"
As for why there were testimonies at Monday's hearing, prosecuting attorney, Ed Davis, told Fox 35 they are laying the facts down and laying the foundation now, and will argue the law later. He calls the practice standard. As for what evidence the defense is trying to suppress, Defense attorney, Jeffrey Deen, referred FOX 35 to court documents already filed. FOX 35 spoke to Yessenia's father at the hearing, however he politely declined to comment.
Court is expected to reconvene Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.