Last week, the West Side Journal newspaper ran an article about the two year anniversary of the disappearance of former Brusly High School teacher Sylviane Finck Lozada and the still-ongoing investigation into her disappearance.
At the time of publication, several requests for information and/or documentation regarding Lozada’s disappearance and the investigation had been left unanswered. The following article is based on information found after last week’s date of publication.
Though all signs indicate Oscar Lozada may hold the answers to his wife’s disappearance two years ago, the family and friends of former Brusly High School teacher Sylviane Finck Lozada say they remain hopeful that law enforcement will solve the disappearance and that justice will, in the end, prevail.
“We know that we can't know everything for the well being of this very hard working investigation. They can't tell us everything and that's why we still have no answer to much of our questions,” wrote Anton Finck, Sylviane Lozada’s nephew and godson, in a written response to questions from the Journal.
Finck, who lives in Belgium, is one of few family members that have visited the United States since the disappearance of Sylviane. In 2012, he visited Brusly High School and saw “Le Jardin de Sylviane,” a garden planted by students and colleagues at Brusly High School to keep Sylviane’s memory alive.
“That was amazing to see how people are united; everyone was so nice and generous. I am happy to have heard every kind thing they told to me about her,” Finck wrote. “The school was beautiful and I felt well in the garden. In Le Jardin de Sylviane I found my peace of heaven and I understand why she came there and I hope to do like her.”
The police investigation, though still ongoing, has come to a seeming halt as investigators are unable to question Oscar Lozada, as he fled the United States of America to Venezuela on July 9, 2011, according to search warrants, and has not returned.
Oscar Lozada, a Venezuelan citizen, is safe from extradition from Venezuela as the country’s constitution prevents the extradition of nationals.
Search warrants for the Lozada’s former home at 2234 Springlake Drive in Baton Rouge, as well as for their vehicles - a yellow Nissan Xterra and a maroon Toyota Corolla – indicate that “items indicative of the location of the missing adult female resident; any other evidence indicative to the disappearance of the missing female resident is believed to be secreted or concealed…”
The documents say that on their initial response to the Lozada’s residence on July 18, 2011, uniformed East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputies found the home unlocked and empty of all furniture and clothing.
A source close to the investigation said that Oscar Lozada paid more than $600 in extra baggage fees on his flight from Dallas, Texas to Venezuela. Airline officials could not confirm the amount spent on extra bags.
An application for search warrant of the yellow Nissan Xterra says that on June 24, 2011, a family friend of Oscar and Sylviane Lozada and their daughter Angelina, contacted detectives after seeing a news story showing that detectives were searching for any available information concerning the family or the disappearance of Sylviane.
The caller told investigators at that time that Oscar Lozada wanted the Xterra sold and the money sent to him in Venezuela.
The document says that investigators were told that Oscar Lozada and his then-4-year-old daughter did not plan on returning to the United States.
A return to search warrant shows that several items were seized from the family’s home on July 22, 2013, proving that investigators may suspect foul play in the disappearance. The items include two cardboard cylinders; a used roll of duct tape; two pieces of duct tape; a sample of dried blood from a window pane located in the garage; four DNA swabs from the garage floor; video of the interior and exterior of the residence and a sink catch pipe water sample.
During public records searches, the West Side Journal found a possible second residence for Oscar and/or Sylviane Lozada at 10288 W. Winston Ave. The Journal also learned that Oscar Lozada often went by another last name – Sosa; and that Sylviane often went by her maiden name - Finck.
The Journal also obtained Oscar Lozada’s former phone number. But after public information requests for the inspection of any search warrants pertaining to the address or the phone number, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office denied requests for information due to the ongoing investigation and its nature.
Mary E. Colvin, attorney at Erlingson Banks, P.L.L.C., a firm that represents the EBRSO, sent a reply to requests for information “with respect to information related to the investigation of Mrs. Sylviane Finck Lozada’s disappearance.”
She wrote, “Please be advised that this is an active investigation and, therefore, we cannot release any information at this time with the exception of the initial report.”
Anton Finck said that the family remains uncertain about the possibilities of what may have happened to Sylviane.
“After two years, we think about her everyday. We cannot do our mourning because we still don't know what happened to her,” he wrote.
Finck was part of a group that organized a memorial in Belgium for his missing godmother, Sylviane. He said that the event was “moving,” as many white balloons were released in her memory as well as the viewing of a slideshow.
“There were a lot of people; everybody came to keep Sylviane's memory alive and they thanks the family to what we did for her,” he said. “We want to thank the press, the journalist who, like in Belgium, continues to talk about Sylviane. We want to thank, too, her friends, her colleagues, her students and everyone who help and think about her.”