Area students have written close to a thousand birthday cards for the daughter of a Brusly High School teacher reported missing almost two months ago.
Some of the 850 cards include pictures of birthday parties while others display drawings of animals, flowers and hearts.
All of the cards contain messages of hope, love and prayer for Angelina Lozada, the soon-to-be 5-year-old daughter of Sylviane Lozada, who was reported missing in East Baton Rouge Parish July 18.
“We are trying to do something to show her she’s loved,” Brusly basketball coach Liza Whittington said. “We want her to know that people are still thinking about her.”
Whittington said she collected the cards at Brusly High School until the end of the day Tuesday. She will then send them to an address for Angelina’s paternal grandmother in Venezuela.
Sylviane Lozada’s friend and colleague Karen Wooley said Angelina, who turns 5 Thursday, will be “overjoyed” when she sees the batch of homemade and store-bought cards addressed just to her.
“Birthdays (for Angelina) were usually a family affair,” Wooley said. “They were small, private celebrations.”
This year, Angelina Lozada will presumably be with her father, Oscar Lozada, in Venezuela.
The father and daughter boarded a plane in Dallas destined for South America on July 9, Sheriff’s Office authorities have said. They were scheduled to return to the United States on July 14, but did not.
Authorities started looking for Sylviane Lozada, 51, on July 18 when she was reported missing after her relatives in Belgium could not get in touch with her.
Sylviane Lozada’s last contact with her family was around July 5, authorities have said.
Authorities have said that foul play is a possibility in Sylviane Lozada’s missing person case based on physical evidence obtained from her home at 2234 Springlake Drive.
In addition, detectives discovered that Oscar Lozada, 36, on or about July 6 purchased multiple gray five-gallon buckets with lids and multiple yellow and black bags of Quickcrete concrete mix, authorities have said.
The buckets and bags of concrete mix have not been found.
Oscar Lozada has not been named a suspect in his wife’s disappearance. However, authorities would like to talk to him and are trying to contact him.
Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that the release of additional information could jeopardize the investigation, which is ongoing.
Wooley said her friend’s absence has been hard on everyone, especially Sylviane Lozada’s family in Belgium.
“They still have a lot of hope,” Wooley said. “They are trying to understand just like everyone else.”
Whittington agreed and said the situation is “very frustrating.”
“There are so many roadblocks and so many unanswered questions,” she said, adding that she has to wonder if authorities are giving the case their all since they aren’t commenting on it.
“We want to keep Sylviane in people’s minds,” she said. “Someone has to know something.”
Anyone with information about Sylviane Lozada’s whereabouts or anyone who remembers seeing her husband’s bright-yellow Nissan on July 5 or July 6 is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (225) 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (225) 344-7867.