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Years after fleeing US, man goes to trial for wife's 2011 murder in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - Eight jurors were selected Monday in the trial of Oscar Lozada, who is accused of killing and dismembering his wife in 2011.
It's been 12 years since Brusly High School teacher Sylviane Finck Lozada went missing.
Her husband Oscar Lozada is accused of her murder. The couple's marriage allegedly had a history of domestic violence.
"Right out the gate we felt that Oscar was responsible for his wife's disappearance," Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said.
In 2011, authorities found blood on the ceilings and walls in the couple's home in Baton Rouge and purchases of concrete and gallon buckets. It's believed Lozada dismembered his wife and dumped her remains. Her body was never recovered.
After her disappearance, Lozada fled to Venezuela, then went to Mexico where he was located with the couples young daughter.
In 2018, detectives got a break in the years-long investigation.
"I received a phone call from the director of immigrations from Mexico and they said, 'you need to be at the airport in the morning,'" Todd Morris, a detective on the Lozada case, said.
Authorities say Lozada confessed to killing his wife after he was arrested in Mexico in 2018 and was brought back to Baton Rouge.
"You have to understand the sensitivity of these investigations when dealing with foreign countries. And that's just the way it is. We had to keep a lot of things in house, and to ourselves, because I did not want to be responsible for something getting out and losing our one opportunity to hold Oscar accountable for his actions which we believe he committed here, for the warrant that we have, and ensure [his daughter's] safety," Morris said.
On Sunday, District Attorney Hillar Moore said prosecutors will seek the maximum sentence of life in prison if the jury convicts Lozada on the charge of second-degree murder.
"We are very pleased we are going to be able to bring him to justice. And hopefully through the course of the investigation bring even more closure to the families," Sheriff Gautreaux said.
"The goal all along has been for him to be arrested and charged with the crime that he committed and that the family gain custody of [the daughter]. That everything that has been done is brought to the light," Karen Wooley, Sylviane's best friend, said.
Jury selection will continue Tuesday.
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