Last week I reported that a Guatemalan wife and mother of two, Cristina Siekavizza (at right), disappeared July 7.
Authorities suspect she was murdered by her husband, Roberto Barreda de León, and that he has probably fled to the United States, taking the couple’s two children, Roberto Jose, 7, and María Mercedes, 4, with him.
As I wrote, I became interested in the case because my former wife Ana Carolina Monterroso is a friend of Cristina’s relatives. She and Cristina’s brother Pablo have notified me that roughly 25,000 people are currently using social media to track down Roberto.
I believe it. Last week’s posting drew a record 1,217 visitors in the first three days after it went online. Some 432 of those were in Guatemala. Readers have posted links to this blog on their Facebook pages and on other websites. Truly social media in action.
An international warrant for the English-speaking husband’s arrest has been issued. If people spot him, they should notify local law enforcement or the FBI. Please note that the email address in Guatemala for reporting his whereabouts is incorrect on the wanted poster. It should be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Point Reyes Station — Mitchell cabin with its red roof is near the center of the photo.
Around Mitchell cabin two foxes are making themselves more and more at home with every passing week. Lynn and I can hand feed them slices of bread although one is more skittish than the other. The first sits around the kitchen door waiting for me to hand it dinner. Usually we have to throw the slices to its partner.
For a year or more we had been feeding our foxes and raccoons honey-roasted peanuts along with bread, but that became fairly expensive.
Our problem was solved by Gayanne Enquist of Inverness.
She recommended we forget about peanuts and feed our critters dog kibble. It was a brilliant idea.
Once we determined through experimentation which brand they prefer — Kibble and Bits — we could eliminate peanuts and most bread from their dinners.
However, the kibble is so popular that we might as well be feeding two large dogs.
Along with the foxes, we get five or six raccoons every night.
One raccoon is a solitary male. The others belong to two families that don’t like each other, so we have to put out two trays of kibble on the deck and keep refilling them.
That adds up to about 40 pounds of kibble per week.
The foxes wait their turn for the kibble until the raccoons leave although the raccoons are also a bit wary of the foxes.
Of course, we’re not always Johnny on the spot in setting out their dinners, and here a fox waits patiently while a raccoon approaches cautiously.
We also feed a variety of birds, including towhees, sparrows, doves, and scores of redwing blackbirds. They have a set feeding time, somewhere between 4:30 and 5 p.m. However, the birds aren’t the only beneficiaries of the birdseed. Roof rats, those cute little rodents, show up almost as soon as the blackbirds leave.
Blacktail deer are ubiquitous around Mitchell cabin. This year I’ve seen as many as 14 at one time. Here a fawn sleeps right outside our kitchen window while two does graze nearby.
The deer are so comfortable around us that I can often approach them within a few feet.
Although we’re in the middle of winter, these are great days to relax. Just keep your eyes out for a murder suspect fleeing Guatemala.
A Guatemalan wife and mother of two, Cristina Siekavizza, went missing July 7. Authorities believe her husband murdered her, and Guatemalan news media have reported the English-speaking husband, Roberto Barreda de León, has probably fled to the United States.
The husband, is believed to have taken the couple’s two children, Roberto Jose, 7, and Maria Mercedes, 4, with him. An international warrant for his arrest has been issued.
I’ve been following the case because my former wife Ana Carolina Monterroso is a friend of Cristina’s relatives. Social media are trying to spread the word internationally about the case. A YouTube site called Voces por Cristina, to which Ana Carolina belongs, now has more than 4,000 followers. A Facebook site called VocesXCristina has 20,000 followers. Here’s Cristina’s uncle Carlos Siekavizza making a plea in Spanish on the YouTube site.
The case was first thought to be a kidnapping, and private investigators were hired by the Barreda de León family, but they may have mainly hidden evidence. After weeks passed without a call from any kidnappers, the Attorney General’s Office took over the investigation.
Police found incriminating evidence against Cristina’s husband, and on Aug. 3, he disappeared, along with the children.
Prosecutor Rony López tells journalists that police have found evidence that an attack occurred in the family’s home. Blood has been found while items one would have expected to find are missing, he said.
Authorities have also reported that after Siekavizza disappeared, Barreda threatened the house helper (above) not to talk to police.
The case took a bizarre turn when police jailed Barreda’s mother, Beatriz Ofelia de León, a former president of the Guatemalan Supreme Court, for corruption of justice by also threatening the house worker and obstructing justice.
Because Cristina’s case has come to epitomize violence against women in Guatemala, it has received heavy coverage for months in the Guatemalan press and has sparked protests, such as this march.
Before the disappearances, the family had appeared to be happy.
Cristina’s sister, however, has told the press that Barreda was domineering. Cristina had remained close to her relatives and liked to visit them, the sister said, but Roberto objected that it was a waste of gasoline.
Guatemala is a long way from Point Reyes Station, but this blog has readers around the world. And because the murder suspect and his children may well be in the US by now, this posting is a shot in the dark aimed at catching him.
If you do spot him, please report the sighting to local law enforcement or the FBI office in your area. There is also an email address in Guatemala for reporting Barreda’s whereabouts: email@example.com.