Dirt points to mines for clues in missing- mom case | NevadaAppeal.com
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Dirt points to mines for clues in missing- mom case

by F.T. Norton

Dirt found on the truck of the prime suspect in the disappearance of a Carson City mother was consistent with dirt from area mines, authorities said Tuesday.

But a search of six abandoned mines in recent months brought officials no closer to solving her 6-month disappearance.

“Dirt was analyzed and did direct us to specific areas, including mine shafts in this region,” said Sheriff Kenny Furlong. “But searches of those areas did not yield any evidence.”

Bertha Anguiano, a married mother of three, was last seen about 8:30 a.m. Nov. 10 outside Empire Elementary School when she dropped off her 6-year-old son.

Some 90 minutes later, Anguiano’s 3-year-old son was found at the Smith’s grocery store near Dayton, about 15 miles from home. The boy was covered with blood and told police a man named “Juan” had killed his mother and pushed him from a truck.

Juan Carlos Tellez is under suspicion, but has not been charged in Anguiano’s disappearance, according to investigators

“We are basically holding off, in hopes that some further evidence will be developed – namely physical evidence,” said District Attorney Noel Waters.

On Nov. 21, Carson City and Salt Lake County (Utah) officers were watching Tellez’s pickup, which he had parked at a Salt Lake City apartment complex.

When Tellez headed for the truck, Salt Lake County Detective Sgt. Keith Stephens ordered him to surrender. Tellez pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at Stephens. Tellez was disarmed by Salt Lake County Detective Brent Adamson, who hit him with his police vehicle.

Tellez was convicted by a Utah jury of aggravated assault and will be sentenced May 3.

Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Bob White said that in at least two interviews, Tellez, an undocumented immigrant with several aliases, denied knowledge of Anguiano’s whereabouts. Police believe the two had at one time had an affair.

A forensic examination of the soil on the undercarriage of Tellez’s truck had high levels of tungsten, leading investigators to Storey and Lyon County mines.

Furlong said with no other evidence suggesting Anguiano, 33, is alive, investigators are working under the assumption that she is a victim of foul play.

“As the weather warms and people are out in the countryside, should they find something unusual or unanticipated, please contact the appropriate sheriff’s department for the county they are in or the Carson City Sheriff’s Department, and we’ll follow up on the information,” he said. Anything that looks out of the ordinary as someone may be walking in the desert, such as clothing, a bank bag, deposit slips or blankets, should be reported to police.

“Definitely report if bones are found,” Furlong added.

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.