Oscar Alberto Lozada, 43, accused of murdering his wife in Baton Rouge, was arrested in Mexico and is now in police custody.
Sylviane Finck Lozada, a teacher at Brusly High School in West Baton Rouge Parish, disappeared on July 5, 2011. Oscar was transported across the border overnight and is being held at a detention center in Eagle Pass, Texas. Records at the jail in Maverick County Detention Center show he is being held there on an out-of-state warrant.
Efforts are now underway to extradite Lozada to Baton Rouge, a process that could take several weeks. The couple’s daughter, Angelina, now 12, has been placed in the care of a foster family via child protective services. She was brought to Baton Rouge overnight. Authorities say Angelina did see a child psychologist while in Mexico.
A relative on her mother’s side of the family is expected to eventually take custody of the girl. The girl was located at a school in Mexico near where she had been living with her father, investigators say. Major Todd Morris, a detective with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, had been tracking Lozada for years and located him in Mexico with the help of several federal U.S. agencies. In an arrest warrant filed Thursday, EBRSO detectives accused Oscar Lozado of one count of second degree murder.
Officials held a press conference Friday afternoon after arresting Lozada.
Detectives say they did not initially file a second degree murder warrant for Lozada when his wife first disappeared because they wanted to make sure he would cooperate with authorities and communicate with them. They also wanted to be able to track him in case he left Venezuela. They did, though, file a felony domestic abuse warrant.
Officials also say Lozada monitored social media and news on the case from the U.S. while in Venezuela.
Detective Todd Morris says he kept in contact with Lozada while he was in Venezuela until about mid-2016. Lozada then moved to Mexico by himself in 2017, leaving Angelina behind.
Detectives allege that surveillance video from the Lowe’s store on South Mall Drive in Baton Rouge shows Oscar, accompanied by his daughter, walking into the store on July 6, 2011 and purchasing 15 bags of concrete and nine 5-gallon buckets with lids and luggage locks. Following the trip to Lowe’s, the warrant says, Oscar and his daughter, then 4-years-old, went for lunch at Chuck E. Cheese. The next day, the warrant alleges, Oscar Lozado sent a text message to his boss saying he would be out of work for two to three weeks for surgery. On July 9, 2011, Oscar and his daughter boarded a flight to Venezuela, the warrant says. Detectives searched the Lozada home in Baton Rouge on July 22, 2011. “During the search of the garage, crime scene analysts located suspected blood in at least nine different areas of the garage,” the warrant states.
The blood was tested at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and found to be that of Sylviane, the warrant says. There has been no activity on Sylviane’s bank account or credit card since her disappearance, detectives say. EBRSO detectives say they spoke to Oscar several times since his wife’s disappearance and, each time, he said he did not know where she was. Detectives say a search of records showed police had been called to the couple’s home several times for domestic disturbances prior to Sylviane’s disappearance. That includes an incident in 2009 when detectives noted in their report that Oscar allegedly admitted he “snapped” and struck Sylviane, the warrant says.
In a Facebook message to then WAFB-TV anchor, Andre Moreau, in 2014, Oscar denied ever harming Sylviane. “I never touched Sylviane in a violent way,” Oscar said. The two had been married for six years at the time Sylviane disappeared.