Backhoe yields nothing in missing-mom search |

Backhoe yields nothing in missing-mom search

by F.T. Norton

Investigators came up empty Monday in the search for a missing mother after using a backhoe to dig up a suspicious mound of dirt near the Carson City landfill.

A tip led investigators to the location just south of Highway 50 East near the Mound House border with Carson City, said Carson Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Bob White.

“A woman who walks her dogs out there said they go and dig on this mound of dirt every time,” he said.

White said a backhoe dug down about 3 feet before hitting rock.

“We found absolutely nothing,” he said.

Bertha Anguiano, 33, was last seen Nov. 10 talking in the parking lot of Empire Elementary School with a man.

Some 90 minutes later, Anguiano’s 3-year-old son was found injured in the parking lot of a Dayton grocery store, about 15 miles from his home. He told police his mother was dead and he saw a man named “Juan” hit her with a stick or shovel.

Israel “Juan Carlos” Tellez, 36, whom police believe may have been having an affair with the married mother of three, later allegedly pulled a weapon on police in Salt Lake City when they approached him to ask what he knew about Anguiano’s disappearance.

He remains in custody in Salt Lake City on charges of aggravated assault. Tellez denies any knowledge of Anguiano’s whereabouts, White said.

Forensic testing on blood found both in Tellez truck and on the child’s clothing could possibly belong to Anguiano, according to court documents.

For nine weeks, rescue crews have searched various desert locations, hoping to turn up clues to Anguiano’s disappearance between Carson City and Fallon where Tellez was seen hours after the boy was discovered

But as the leads dry out, the searches have been suspended, White said.

“We’ve looked every place someone has sent us,” he said. “We don’t know where to go next.”

He said investigators welcome tips from the public.

“If people see suspicious things out in the desert call us,” White said. “We check all leads.”

Contact F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.