Investigators immediately suspected foul play. Her SUV had also vanished. Her credit cards and bank accounts went untouched.
Detectives scoured canals, lakes and the wetlands with no luck, but their suspicion toward Maqueira still grew.
The investigation finally came to a climax on Feb. 7, when Miami-Dade Detective Juan Segovia brought in Maqueira for a dramatic all-night interrogation.
Smacking the table and pointing at Segovia, Maqueira denied ever abusing his wife. Maqueira failed a lie-detector test, which by law is not admissible at trial.
At first, Maqueira said he went home right after the afternoon encounter at the school. Then, Maqueira insisted that he had gone to a friend’s house to conduct online research about his estranged wife’s new boyfriend. But that friend told police Maqueira had not been to his house for two weeks.
When detectives confronted him with cell-phone records placing him around the elementary school the night Calderin disappeared, Maqueira first appeared nervous and flustered. An hour later, Segovia wrote in his report, Maquiera suddenly floated an excuse: he had given her his cell phone as a gift that day because she had admired it.
According to police reports, phone towers also pinpointed Maqueira’s phone in another curious location later that night, just south of Kendall Drive past Krome Avenue in rural West Miami-Dade. Police believe that is where he dumped his wife.
Throughout the interrogation, Maqueira mocked detectives.
At one point, he said sarcastically, “Look, I killed her, take me to jail.” At the end, Segovia wrote in his report, “Mr. Maqueira laughed out loud at these investigators and stated that without a body there was very little we could do to him.’’