Friday, April 20, 2007

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — FBI officials went to El Salvador to interview relatives of a woman who remains missing following the discovery of the bodies of her husband and four children in their Western Maryland home.

Deysi Benitez, 25, was last seen alive March 18 in Frederick. The bodies of her husband, Pedro Rodriguez, 28, and their four children were found March 26 at their Frederick town house. Mr. Rodriguez hanged himself, the three daughters were suffocated and the son had been bludgeoned to death.

The couple and their oldest child were legal immigrants from Sensuntepeque, 60 miles northeast of the capital of San Salvador. FBI officials visited the town April 12 to speak with Mrs. Benitez’s parents and siblings, the Frederick News-Post reported yesterday.

Sensuntepeque Mayor Jesus Edgar Bonilla Navarrete said the officials asked the relatives if they had been in contact with Mrs. Benitez. Her sister, Angela, said she has not been in contact. The FBI also examined birth certificates and official identification documents for Mrs. Benitez, Mr. Rodriguez and their oldest child.

The FBI is providing support to the Frederick Police Department upon request, said Lt. Tom Chase. Mrs. Benitez is on the FBI’s national list of missing persons.

There are no new announcements, Jaime Lopez Reyes, an inspector with El Salvador’s national civil police force, said this week.

The FBI visit occurred the same day the children and their father were laid to rest in a crypt in Sensuntepeque.

Mrs. Benitez’s parents, Miguel Angel Benitez and Carmen Adilia Quinteros, got up early Tuesday to hike two hours from their mountain house in Tronalagua to the mayor’s office in Sensuntepeque. Mrs. Quinteros is seeking a visa to travel to Frederick. She said she has many questions about her daughter and hopes to visit her house to find closure.

Mr. Rodriguez’s mother, Rosa Rodriguez, also said she wants to see the home in which her son and grandchildren died.

Relatives and co-workers have said Mrs. Benitez and Mr. Rodriguez struggled in the United States with language problems and financial difficulties and that their marriage was troubled. Mr. Rodriguez learned March 15 that he would lose his factory job at a door-manufacturing plant scheduled to close in July.

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