Crime

Human remains in box by canal belong to missing Miami woman, cops say. Husband jailed.

Jimmy Joseph Torres, 36, was charged Friday with killing his wife, putting her body in a box and dumping the box by a canal in Broward County.
Jimmy Joseph Torres, 36, was charged Friday with killing his wife, putting her body in a box and dumping the box by a canal in Broward County.

Mirabel Torres hadn't been seen since the Thanksgiving holidays but wasn't reported missing by family members until late April. On Thursday, police found human remains in a box along a Broward County canal.

A day later, her husband — who has refused to speak with police — was in jail facing second-degree murder charges. Though she hasn't been officially identified, police believe Torres' remains are now with the Broward County Medical Examiner.

"We're just waiting for the confirmation that it's her," said Miami-Dade Detective Argemis Colome.

Police said they were first notified that Torres, 33, was missing from her home in the 17300 block of Northwest 62nd Court on April 23, when her father called police.

"He suspected foul play from her husband," a Miami-Dade police detective wrote in Jimmy Torres' arrest report.

Around the same time, her sister Mabel Montesino told WPLG Channel 10 that she received a call saying her sister's kids had been abandoned and she needed to get them. Montesino said she, too, called police.

Mirabel Torres' father said that when he spoke to his daughter's husband, Jimmy Torres, he suspected his son-in-law had concocted a story: He told her father that his daughter was pregnant with another man's child and that Mirabel Torres had run away, leaving her children behind.

When police reached the 36-year-old man, he told them he hadn't seen his wife since December. Then police say he clammed up and refused to speak without an attorney present. Earlier this week, police said, a witness came forward who said Jimmy Torres had confessed.

His story, according to the unnamed witness: Jimmy Torres was fighting with his wife when he hit her over the head with a metal rod. She was unconscious and bleeding, so he dragged her out to the backyard and put her in a box. Then he took the box to a canal in Broward off Griffin Road where the couple used to go to "relax."

Police raced to the site, recovered the box and found the human remains that are now with the medical examiner. On Thursday, police located Jimmy Torres and brought him to the homicide bureau in Doral for questioning. They said he again refused to speak without an attorney present.

He was arrested, charged with the murder and escorted to Turner Guilford Knight correctional center, where he remained Friday afternoon after being denied bond.

State records show Jimmy Torres has been in trouble with the law since his teens. He was arrested twice in 1998 by Miami-Dade police, once for criminal mischief and again for burglary and vehicular theft. He was convicted in both cases.

In 2010, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show, he was arrested in Hialeah Gardens and charged with domestic violence. The charge was dropped. In 2012 and 2013 he was charged with driving with a suspended license, once in Sweetwater and again in Aventura.

In 2016, Miami-Dade police took him into custody for a warrant out of Pasco County. He was charged with sexually assaulting a minor. The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said Friday that the case remains open.

Also open: another arrest for sexual assault against a minor in Miami-Dade from the same year. According to police, Torres drove his 14-year-old niece to a parking lot near a Miami Gardens International House of Pancakes, pulled down his pants and demanded she perform fellatio on him. The teen told police she feared for her life and complied.

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