• Luis Toledo trial: Former lover testifies

    By: Jeff Deal , WFTV Web Staff


    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Testimony continued Thursday morning in the murder trial of a 35-year-old Deltona man who is accused of killing his wife and her two children.

    Luis Toledo is accused of killing Yessenia Suarez, 28, and her children, Thalia Otto, 9, and Michael Otto, 8, who disappeared from their Deltona home in October 2013, but were never found.

    Read: Luis Toledo trial: Testimony begins in high-profile triple murder case

    Investigators said Toledo confessed to killing Suarez, but denied killing her children.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the deaths of the children.

    Photos: Yessenia Suarez, Thalia Otto and Michael Otto

    Kevin Dredden, the man who admitted to having an affair with Suarez, testified Thursday morning.

    Dredden said his relationship with Suarez went from professional to romantic in January 2013 and became sexual in April 2013.

    "Got to team build together. (We) flirted on the phone. (It) got to the point we both knew we would hook up," Dredden said.

    Photos: Search for bodies in missing family case

    Dredden testified Suarez told him she was unhappy in her marriage and that Toledo contacted him to confront about the affair.

    "Toledo called, said, 'Don't involve the police. I want to keep it between us,'" Dredden said.

    He said on Oct. 22, the day before Suarez disappeared, Toledo walked into her workplace at American K9 and confronted his wife and Dredden about the affair.

    Yessenia Suarez has not been seen since 2013. Her husband, Luis Toledo, was found guilty of her death and her two children, Michael and Thalia Otto. Their bodies have never been found.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    Toledo left the workplace after police were called, investigators said.

    Toledo later met Suarez at her mother's home and left at 6:30 p.m., but when Suarez returned home, Toledo wasn't there, investigators said. Toledo returned between 9:19 p.m. and 11:54 p.m. but said he fell asleep in his vehicle and woke up on Oct. 23 around 8 a.m. and he said that Suarez or the children were not in the home.

    Dredden said he last spoke to Suarez at 1:03 a.m. Oct. 23. Investigators said Dredden was the last person to talk to Suarez before she disappeared and that he was worried for her.

    "She had slurred speech," Dredden said. 

    "Was the conversation forced," attorneys asked Dredden.

    "Yeah, she wasn't happy. She was soft in her words. She had slurred speech," Dredden said.

    Photos: Evidence in Luis Toledo case

    A Volusia County deputy, who went to Suarez home after she was reported missing on Oct. 23, testified the house had a strong odor of a cleaning agent, like a bottle of Pine-Sol had been used.

    "The odor was very dominant throughout the house," said Deputy Wayne Miller.

    Miller testified that he asked Toledo if Suarez had recently cleaned the home and Toledo said, "No."

    Prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered opening statements Wednesday.

    Crime scene investigators also talked about finding Suarez's car in Seminole County with her phone and ID inside. The investigators also testified about the small specks of blood found in the home, in particular, the master bathroom.

    During testimony Wednesday, Felecita Perez, Suarez's mother, described the moment that she learned her grandchildren had disappeared.

    The trial is being held in St. Augustine because of the publicity the case has received.

    Read: Luis Toledo: Trial begins for Deltona man accused of killing wife, children

    Court wrapped up for the day and will continue Friday morning.

    Watch the testimony below:

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