Family of missing woman to file lawsuit against suspect in killing

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - The family of a missing Deltona mother and her two children said they are fed up and frustrated and are moving forward with a lawsuit against the man they believe killed their daughter.

Luis Toledo will face a judge Thursday for his arraignment, where he will enter a plea.

Yessenia Suarez and her children, 8-year-old Michael Otto and 9-year-old Thalia Otto, have been missing since late October.

Investigators said Toledo has admitted to killing Suarez, but that he won't tell them where her body is. They said Toledo told them he did not kill Suarez's children, but investigators said they are dead and the search for their bodies continues.

Suarez's said they are convinced that Toledo is the only one who can bring the search for the bodies, and their misery to an end.

"We as a family, we can't sit back and hear crickets, you know. We have to stay proactive, and whatever means it takes, we're going to go out there," said Ruben Perez, Suarez's stepfather. "This is not a circus for him that he can sit there and make money off the story by any means, so we want to make sure we prevent that from happening."

Perez and Suarez's mother, Felicia Perez, are filing a wrongful death lawsuit to pressure Toledo. They said it's also about stripping Toledo of any benefits he could possibly receive.

Toledo is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Suarez. Investigators said he admitted to killing Suarez by hitting her in the throat during an argument in October.
Toledo has not been charged in the deaths of the children.

"Every day I wake up with the same hope that they're going to find them, you know, and they're doing a great job out there trying to find them. It feels like trying to find an ant in a pile of sand," said Felicia Perez.

The Perez family said they are feeling frustrated with the investigation.

"We're kept in the dark. We're finding things out on our own," said Ruben Perez. "I just hope to see more action, more action in this case because it's a mother and two kids."

Members of the Texas EquuSearch organization are in Volusia County, helping in the search for Suarez and her children.

Ruben Perez said that his family will continue the search, even after others stop.

"Even if I have to, like I did before, start my own searches, I will. Even if Texas EquuSearch were to leave, I'll still be conducting my own searches," said Ruben Perez.