BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Sylviane Finck Lozada, a foreign language teacher, was here one day and without a word was gone the next. Those who love the award-winning high school teacher and mother have opened up about the nightmare created by her disappearance and even her husband is talking for the first time about the search for Sylviane.
The Brusly High School language teacher has been missing 984 days, as of Thursday. In all that time, there's been no word from her and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office has found no sign of what happened to the nationally-recognized instructor. Sheriff Sid Gautreaux continues to say very little about the case. He refused an on-camera interview, fearing it could hurt the investigation. He did say solving the case is his top priority.
However, frustrated and distraught family and friends did comment. They said something more should be done to unearth the truth.
"There was nobody like her in my life," close friend Linda Bui said, as tears welled up in her eyes.
Lozada spoke with her family in Belgium on a daily basis, until July 5, 2011. Since that date, there has not been a word from her.
"You can't imagine how difficult it is living with this tragedy," said Anton Finck, Lozada's godson. "Our life will never be the same."
Karen Wooley has known Lozada for years and both taught at Brusly High.
"I haven't wrapped my mind around it because it seems impossible that somebody you see every day, for them to just disappear and there is no explanation," Wooley said.
Even the missing woman's husband, Oscar Lozada, who created a storm of suspicion with his behavior, opened up via Facebook messaging. Police have long wanted to talk face-to-face with Lozada, but his July 9, 2011 exit from America with the couple's daughter, Angeline, blocked the hopes of police. Oscar Lozada flew to his native Venezuela and has apparently remained ever since. His country's constitution prohibits the extradition of Venezuelan nationals.
Authorities said foul play is possible, based on items taken from the couple's home off Bluebonnet Boulevard in Baton Rouge. According to court records, those items include blood stain samples. Oscar Lozada has never been named a suspect in the case, but his behavior has always been questioned by police.
Police said he bought cement mix and buckets July 6, 2011. Receipts found in his SUV confirmed the purchase. Via Facebook, Oscar stated the items were bought for a home remodeling project. He claimed the materials were stolen by workers, along with other valuables.
According to friends, Sylviane Lozada adored her daughter and always seemed to wear a smile. However, they added beneath it all, there was trouble. Her marriage was in trouble, they explained.
"There were fights where one or both would end up at my house or where the sheriff was called," Bui added.
According to police records, deputies were called to the couple's Springlake address on Dec. 3, 2010 and again on Dec. 31. On that New Year's Eve, she wound up at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital with bruises. She claimed her husband had pushed her down the stairs, those records stated. On Facebook, Oscar messaged, "I never touched Sylviane in a violent way."
Bui said her friend never pressed charges, fearing Oscar Lozada would take their daughter and leave the country. As for claims she ran off with another man to Central America, there is no record of Sylviane Lozada's passport or bank card being used. There has been no trace of her since July 5, 2011.
Through social media and whatever means possible, friends and family work to keep the memory of Lozada alive, hoping someday soon the truth in her disappearance will be told.
Oscar Lozada added in a Facebook message he wants to return to the Baton Rouge area. He stated Louisiana is his home, not Venezuela.