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Estranged Husband Charged With Killing Missing Fort Lauderdale City Employee

Authorities say "the case took a turn for the worst" after investigators found evidence that 39-year-old Mimose Dulcio was murdered inside her Broward County home and disposed of at an unknown location. 

By Jax Miller
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

An arrest has been made days after a Florida woman disappeared from her home under suspicious circumstances.

Jose Luis Pacheco, 36, was arrested in Hialeah on Monday and charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Mimose Dulcio, 39, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday. The arrest comes after Dulcio's family members voiced concerns that Pacheco was possibly responsible for Dulcio’s Thursday evening disappearance.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Gerdy St. Louis said, “the case took a turn for the worst,” according to ABC Miami affiliate WPLG.

“What we would have wanted was to find Mimose alive and well; however that was not the case,” St. Louis stated. “We hope the fact that we have made an arrest in this case, that it brings some sort of justice to the family.”

So far, Dulcio’s body has not been recovered.

Loved ones spoke to multiple news outlets over the weekend, claiming to have gone to Dulcio’s home in an unincorporated section of central Broward County after she failed to respond to texts and calls on Friday. Dulcio, who worked as an administrative assistant for the City of Fort Lauderdale, was supposed to be off from work for the Veteran’s Day holiday.

RELATED: Fears Mount For Missing Florida Woman Whose Phones, Home Security Cameras Were Smashed

At the residence, Dulcio's siblings said they reportedly found two of Dulcio’s cell phones smashed and stuffed into the couch, and home security cameras that had been broken. The missing woman’s bank cards were also left behind.

Relatives also claimed to see spots of blood on a cracked television screen, according to NBC Miami affiliate WTVJ.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert for the missing woman on Saturday, stating she was last seen at her home around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

A police handout of missing woman Mimose Dulcio

According to Tuesday’s release, investigators with the sheriff’s office's Missing Person Unit “investigated the circumstances surrounding her disappearance” before transferring the case to the homicide unit.

“During their investigation, detectives met with Pacheco, who stated he had not seen or heard from Dulcio in a couple of days and that they were in the process of getting a divorce.”

Loved ones previously stated the pair had entered into an embattled divorce, though they continued to live in separate rooms of the three-bedroom home, according to WTVJ.

Authorities say they issued a search warrant as part of their ongoing investigation, according to the sheriff’s office’s release.

“During the search, investigators found evidence that suggested Dulcio had been murdered in the couple’s home and that her body had been transported in the couple’s shared vehicle and disposed of in an unknown location,” authorities stated.

Mere hours before Pacheco’s arrest, Dulcio’s sister, Seminta Dulcio, claimed her sister intended to obtain an emergency restraining order around the time of her disappearance but failed to do so because the courthouse was closed, according to WPLG.

“She is going through something with an individual, and I don’t take these words lightly,” said Seminta. “I am going to call him a monster.”

Dulcio’s presumed murder continues to reverberate within the community.

Fort Lauderdale City Manager Greg Chavarria closed the Development Service Department early on Tuesday to allow employees the time to grieve their colleague’s presumed murder, according to WTVJ.

“The City of Fort Lauderdale is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our employee Mimose Dulcio as confirmed by the Broward Sheriff’s Office,” Chavarria wrote in a statement. “Her colleagues remember Mimose for her bright smile and dedication to her work. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis confirmed Dulcio worked for the Department of Sustainable Development, according to WPLG.

Jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com show Pacheco was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and is being held before extradition to Broward County. Legal representation on Pacheco’s behalf was not immediately known.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is appealing for information from anyone who might have seen the suspect’s white 2018 Dodge Charger involved in “any unusual activities.”

Mimose Dulcio is a Black female with black hair and brown eyes, listed as being five foot, five inches tall and weighing about 170 pounds.

Anyone with information can contact homicide detective Kevin Nitsch at 1-954-321-4246 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 1-954-493-TIPS (8477).