The body of a missing woman was found Thursday in a wooded area near Coral Springs High School and police are calling it a suspicious death.
Magdalena Weich, 38, of Coral Springs, was reported missing late Wednesday by her boyfriend, authorities said.
Weich’s body was discovered Thursday by a group of about five youths walking near a wooded area east of the school on the north side of Sample Road.
“They believed it to be a human body, so they contacted police,” Sgt. Carla Kmiotek said.
Weich’s body showed no obvious signs of trauma and the medical examiner will make a final determination on the manner and cause of death.
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“The officers believe, along with the medical examiner, that the incident is suspicious in nature and are investigating it as a possible homicide based on the manner that the woman’s body was found,” Kmiotek said.
Weich’s body was about 30 feet away from the sidewalk in an area of heavy brush in the 7200 block of Sample Road and had begun to decompose, police said.
“It’s obvious she didn’t pass away in that location. The body appears to have been placed in there, which is really what we’re trying to stress to anybody who saw something,” Capt. Brad McKeone said.
Police are asking the public to come forward with information about people seen walking in the vicinity of the discovery or vehicles parked or broken down in the area anytime between Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Kmiotek said.
When Enrique Macotela reported Weich was missing, he told police she never returned home Tuesday after walking to Barnes Noble, 2790 N. University Drive, to study, authorities said.
While he was playing tennis with friends, Weich texted Macotela to let him know she would be studying at the bookstore, according to a police incident report. But she didn’t return home and had left her purse, keys and cellphone at home.
On Wednesday, Macotela went to Weich’s workplace, MCCI Medical, in Tamarac to see if she showed up for work before going to the police department to report her missing.
Weich’s boss told police that she had not seen Weich since Monday and that Macotela had called in sick for her, saying she was suffering intense headaches, the report said. Her employer found it odd because Weich has never missed work and is very punctual, authorities said.
Police reviewed surveillance video at the Barnes Noble and were not able to find a woman matching Weich’s description.
Terri O’Hara a neighbor whose grandson played with the couple’s son, said Weich was an attentive mother who recently worked at a medical office. She was continuing to study to stay up to date in her new profession of medical billing and coding, O’Hara said.
“They played for many years. They played nice together,” O’Hara said of the children. “She was lovely.”
O’Hara said she finds it odd that Weich would walk to the bookstore when the couple owned several cars.
Rachel Rowe, another neighbor, said she often saw Weich preparing to leave for work early in the morning when she, too, was leaving home. Macotela would often help her with their son and anything else she had to pack in the car, she said.
Rowe said she would jokingly tease her own husband: “How come you don’t do that? He makes sure to see his wife off to work safely.”
“I see them every morning, like clockwork,” she said.
Weich was part of a regular “suburban” family: “She was a regular mom, like the rest of us,” Rowe said.
Bonnie Toller, another neighbor, said the news of Weich’s death drove her to tears. She would often see Weich take her little boy to the park.
“She was a sweetheart,” she said. “It’s just truly heartbreaking.”
Macotela, Weich’s boyfriend of nine years and father of their 4-year-old son, has since stopped communicating with police and declined an invitation to the news conference, police officials said.
“I thank you for what you’re doing and hopefully we’ll find whomever is responsible for this,” he told a reporter when reached on his cellphone Friday evening.
He referred all other questions to his attorney, David Kubiliun.
“At this point, he’s extremely distraught about what has happened, and he will not be making any comments and neither will I,” Kubiliun said.
The couple’s son on Friday was taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Families and was to be placed with a relative, according to Lt. Joe McHugh. And police are in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the couple’s home, police said.
Authorities urge anyone with information about the incident to call Sgt. Randy Rosenberg at 954-346-1794.
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