Seven years after Sylviane Finck Lozada disappeared, police have arrested the Brusly teacher’s husband for her presumed murder.
Oscar Lozada, 43, was arrested by authorities in Mexico on Sept. 7, East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux revealed Friday.
“I can tell you in law enforcement, there are no cold cases, especially when it comes to homicides,” Gautreaux told reporters following the announcement.
Sylviane Lozada, a Belgian citizen who taught Spanish and French at Brusly High School, disappeared July 5, 2011. She called her mother in Belgium that same day. The next morning, Oscar purchased 15 bags of concrete and nine five-gallon buckets at the Lowe’s on South Mall Drive in Baton Rouge, the warrant alleges. Those items were never recovered.
Detectives also claim Oscar bought two round trip tickets to his native Venezuela — one for himself, another for his daughter, Angelina — on July 6. The two made the trip together July 9.
The warrant states that when authorities searched the Lozada residence on July 22, they “suspected blood in at least nine different areas” of the family garage. The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab identified the blood as Sylviane’s.
Records indicate numerous altercations between Oscar and Sylviane in the years before the disappearance. Deputies were called to their home three times for domestic abuse complaints. Oscar was never arrested.
Major Todd Morris, a detective with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, kept in contact with Oscar Lozada in the years after Sylviane disappeared, though their correspondence halted in 2016. Aiming to get him in custody, Morris filed a felony domestic abuse warrant. The plan cratered when Venezuelan authorities were unwilling to extradite him, Morris said.
Last year, Morris learned that Oscar had moved to Mexico, where law enforcement officials often work with American authorities. Angelina — now 12 — joined her father in Mexico a few months ago, raising hopes that authorities could jointly arrest Oscar and rescue the girl.
“We knew we had one opportunity to get this,” Morris said. “If Oscar had any idea that we were trying to put this plan together and this got out, that’s a wrap.”
“We had two priorities in this case,” Gautreaux said. “Number one was the safety of Angelina, and number two was justice for Sylviane.”
According to the arrest warrant that the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office filed Thursday, Oscar Lozada is accused of second-degree murder.
Angelina Lozada returned to Baton Rouge on Thursday night. Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services have placed her with a foster family. A relative of Sylviane is traveling from Belgium to Baton Rouge and plans to take custody of Angelina.
Lozada is being held at the Maverick County Detention Center in Eagle Pass, Texas. Authorities are working on extraditing him back to Baton Rouge, which could take weeks.
Investigators have yet to find Sylviane’s body.