I just printed out a map of Brusly, Louisiana. Its location is west of the Mississippi River and around 4 or 5 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, which is on the other side of the river. The reason for the map is I wanted to gauge how far of a commute missing school teacher, Sylviane Finck Lozada had to make when driving to her school, Brusly High School.
The first I heard of the case was on Wednesday, when Jane Velez-Mitchell’s Issues featured Sylviane’s case as the last story of Jane’s hour long show on HLN. Since Wednesday, I’ve read and studied over every article I can find published on the internet.
News coverage for Sylviane Lozada’s missing persons’ case is a might lean. Understandable, since this is primarily a local story for the Baton Rouge area. But it seems to be spreading out and drawing the attention of a wider audience.
Why is this so? Well, one reason is the husband Oscar Lozada fled his hometown on July 9th, with the couple’s daughter, Angelina. Oscar took off for Venezuela on what’s beginning to look like a one-way ticket! From what I can tell, he leaves behind him a trail of incriminating evidence.
By now you’re probably familiar with Oscar’s purchase of multiple bags of concrete, along with many five-gallon buckets (made on July 6th). I assume the police have traced these purchases from bank receipts, possibly from a debit card or a credit card, but I haven’t heard exactly how they found this out.
“Detectives were at the family’s home in Baton Rouge looking for more clues Monday. Neighbors said last week they noticed cars, vans and big moving trucks at the home and even saw a cleaning crew working inside the house.” (9 WAFB By Joshua Auzenne 7/26/’11)
The greatest amount of uncertainty (for me) comes with the mysteries surrounding the discovery of the bright yellow Nissan Xterra. A resident of Prairieville (on a street named Country Drive) identified the vehicle from the license plate number. I read that this odd location (for her husband’s car to be left) belongs to a friend of hers.
A whole flurry of questions bubble up in my mind (regarding the car)? Why did it take 19 days (from the day that Sylviane went missing) for the yellow Xterra to be spotted? She was last seen on the 5th, and her car was found on Sunday, the 24th of July. And why didn’t her anonymous friend call in the out-of-place vehicle?
This is the weirdest aspect of the Xterra puzzle. And who drove it there and abandoned it? Was it the husband or was it left there by the missing wife herself? An article in the Advocate (Teacher planned divorce by Kimberly Vetter) says that Sylviane had been inside the car on July 5th or 6th, but wasn’t the one who was driving.
If Oscar had done something (bad) and was making plans for his escape, then why would he leave his car at this location? Why not just leave it in the driveway of his house? (One presumes he was hightailing it out of there for South America.) He knew they’d find it at the Prairieville location, so why do it? And how far away is Prairieville from the Lozada house?
Another unusual development in how this case is being covered by the media (both print and television coverage), is the way in which photographs are promulgated. Why has the face of Oscar and the daughter, Angelina, been bleeped (whited) out, but Sylviane’s face is always shown. Other individual photos of Oscar are shown, however?
Is the media trying to hide the identity of the daughter? Contrary to this, the Advocate has included a picture that shows the daughter’s face with her mother. And the Advocate is the first place I’ve heard a mention of the daughter’s name. You’d think they’d want to show her face, so they could find her in Venezuela.
Another name that’s not revealed, is the friend who had the yellow Xterra at his or her residence for who knows how many days. What’s the hush-up all about? Was the friend involved somehow? Perhaps we’ll know more soon. Lots of things are not adding up quite yet.
From the reports I’ve read, Sylvianne was a fantastic school teacher, teaching both Spanish and French. She’s a native of Belgium and even has earned her PHD. Fellow teachers held a vigil for her at Brusly High School on Tuesday. She is loved and admired at her school. This time I don’t believe her story will be buried and forgotten. This time it will be remembered forever.