Police calling disappearance of Haines City woman ‘suspicious’

Yanela Lorente was reported missing.
Yanela Lorente was reported missing.

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities have characterized the disappearance of a Haines City woman as suspicious in nature.

Overnight, police executed a search warrant for the home of Yanela Lorente, 28.

Lorente was last seen by her boyfriend and their male roommate when she left their home on Cherokee Avenue Sunday afternoon. She was last heard from later that night when she contacted a family member.

She was reported missing on Monday, the same day her car was found along Old Polk City Road.

The Haines City Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission deployed bloodhounds and scoured the wooded area on ATV’s and horseback.

Lorente’s family has been posting flyers around nearby neighborhoods and where her car was last seen. They have spent most of their time at the police station since she disappeared, hoping for some news.

“We’ve been looking, we’ve been searching everywhere, we’ve been putting out flyers everywhere,” said her sister Yanisleidi Lorente. “I’m devastated. Me and her were very close, she raised me when I was younger…”

At a press conference on Friday, Haines City Police Chief James Elensky said authorities have reason to suspect foul play, and that they’ve opened a large-scale investigation into her disappearance. He said they are not very hopeful they will find her alive.

He said Lorente left her home to “blow off some steam” after an argument with her boyfriend over computer games.

Chief Elensky said the boyfriend was cooperating with the police and told detectives the couple rarely argued.

Her boyfriend’s roommate and business partner, Ian Lloyd was also at the home when Lorentes left, but wasn’t as forthcoming when questioned by police, according to Chief Elensky.

It’s still unclear what circumstances may led to her disappearance. Police plan to do a forensic scan on her laptop in hopes to find more clues.

Lorente was last seen wearing a red and white flannel shirt with long sleeves, a white t-shirt with black letters, short dark-colored shorts and black shoes.

Police say she was driving her white 2013 Kia Optima. The car was later found parked off of Old Polk City Road near the entrance to the FWC Hilochee Osprey Unit Wildlife Reserve.

“Nobody thinks this is right. So, the fact that she left. The fact that she’s not calling her mom, the fact that she hasn’t spoken with her sister like she does several days a week, that’s a problem,” said Haines City Police Chief James Elensky.

“There’s no indication of a fight. She has no history of leaving days at a time without contacting her mom or somebody. There’s just no history of leaving. So the longer this goes on, the more we’re going to suspect foul play.”

Lorente is about 5’04” with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a scar on her right thigh, surgical scars on her abdomen and a belly button piercing.

If you have any information about where Lorente is, or saw her or the car she was driving, you are asked to call (863) 242-2188. You can also submit an anonymous tip through Heartland Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-226-8477.

Haines City Police Department

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