Local/State

Police interview daughters of missing Collingdale, Pa. woman

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Police are still hoping to find Melissa Rodriguez alive. But they are also looking for evidence of foul play.

They were hoping to get some answers Tuesday from those who may have been the last to see her.

30-year-old Melissa Rodriguez left her home on Lafayette Avenue on April 18th.

That's when she told a friend in Newark she was coming up for a visit. But she never arrived.

Her husband, Jose Rodriguez, called the police last Monday to report her missing. He says she didn't show up at school to pick up their 7- and 11-year-old daughters.

Police say the next day Rodriguez went to the school to try to get the girls transferred to a school in New Jersey.

Rodriguez then disappeared, but returned last weekend and took his truck and boat to a home he's staying at in New Brunswick, N.J.

On Monday, police went there and seized a white truck owned by Amtrak. Rodriguez works for Amtrak and the truck was assigned to him.

Police have a search warrant and are now processing the truck for any evidence of foul play.

"We want to check the truck," Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams said Monday night. "Apparently he showed up at the house this weekend to get some things from the house, including the boat. We're not sure what truck he showed up with. This is a truck assigned to him. We want to do some investigations, maybe on the GPS."

Melissa's mother and her family have been plastering posters of her all over Collingdale, hoping someone might have seen her.

But they say they haven't gotten any help from Rodriguez.

"Anything that that he knows about or he assumes, can he please just let us know so we can go find my daughter? And we can see our granddaughters. We miss them. We want our granddaughters," Melissa's mother, Olga Ortiz, told Action News Monday night.

Rodriguez hasn't talked to the police since last Monday. He has since hired a lawyer for himself and another for his daughters.

On Tuesday, that lawyer arranged for the police to be able to interview the girls without Rodriguez present. The police want to know where they last saw their mother and who she might have left the house with.

Rodriguez's lawyer says the police have not asked to speak with him since last Monday. A police source says at this point they're more interested in talking to the girls than Rodriguez.

NEIGHBOR DESCRIBES MARITAL TROUBLE

On Monday night, neighbor Cathy Bauer told Action News that Melissa had confided in her that her husband recently moved out of the house after she learned he was allegedly having an affair with another woman.

"He had a woman that he just had a baby with and Melissa found this all out," Bauer said.

Bauer said she saw Rodriguez on Saturday and he told her Melissa had been found and was being interviewed by detectives.

"And then when I found out it was a lie, I even told the detective, 'I feel like a jerk.' Because I hugged him, and I was so happy he gave me such good news,'" Bauer said.

Action News has learned that police have been called to the Rodriguez home in the past for domestic disturbances. But, as of right now they are calling this a missing person case.

Anyone who knows Melissa Rodriguez's whereabouts is asked to contact police at (610) 586-0502.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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pennsylvania, delaware county, missing person, local/state
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