Missing Family Follow-Up

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Most people are familiar with the Szczepanik family; up here from Brazil on a christian mission.

Little more than a year ago the couple and young son disappeared and have not been seen or heard from since.

A daughter, Tatiane has moved up here hoping that her family will be found alive. Today police and prosecutors met to see what if any new charges would be filed in the case.

Three months ago Tatiane Klein visited the house her mother and father-in-law were remodeling, inside hardware is scattered across the floor just the way it was left in December of 2009 when the Szczepanik's disappeared.

The crime lab markings were added during the investigation into the family's fate.

Three men who had been helping the family were arrested for using the Szczepanik's bank cards.

Through a translator Tatiane told Channel 6 News, "And she thinks they're guilty and know everything that happened in there and everything that went on regarding the disappearance."

On Tuesday the bank card charges against Batista and Santos were dropped but an immigration "hold" on the pair kept them behind bars. Oliveria Coutinho still faces the original charge.

Back in December friends of the Szczepanik's held a vigil and prayer service for the family. At that time Tatiane asked those assembled to pray for the men arrested in connection with her family's disappearance. At that point Tatiane truly believed she would be reunited with her family.

Tatiane Klein says, "Boa historia.. and we still have hope that we are going to have a happy end. I am very faithful to God and I have hope that something good is going to happen."

But Channel 6 News has learned Tatiane expects at least one, possibly two suspects will be charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of her family.

Friends say even though not unexpected the news came as a shock to Tatiane.

Channel 6 News spoke with someone who helps translate and coordinate Tatiane's interviews she says Tatiane is having difficultly dealing with the finality of the homicide charge.

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