Kissimmee families hope for missing married couple's safe return

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The search continues for a married couple who was last seen in Central Florida.

No one has heard from Claudia Pena Alvarez, 25, and Nicolas Alvarez, 22, since April 7. Their families are stumped.

The couple was captured on home security video at Claudia's mother's house in Kissimmee that afternoon. They were the only ones inside during their 15-minute visit. Claudia's mother, Ana Boza, said she was at church when the couple stopped by.

Boza told FOX 35 it’s been incredibly difficult, and she relies on her faith to deliver good news.

The Kissimmee Police Department (KPD) is investigating Claudia’s disappearance but says, "At present, KPD does not have [Nicolas] listed as a missing person from our jurisdiction."

The couple is in a long-distance marriage while Nicolas lives and works in New Mexico. Nicolas’ older sister, Yaneisy Alvarez, said Nicolas flew in the day before the couple was last seen without telling his family, and Claudia picked him up. Yaneisy said it's unusual for Nicolas to return to central Florida without notice.

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"When I see that last video, it makes me sad, knowing that that’s the last time he was seen and knowing that we hadn’t seen him before that, and he didn’t tell us anything," Yaneisy said. "We don’t know if that’s the last time we’ll see him, so it hurts."

Both families say the couple mostly kept to themselves, and to go off the grid is unlike them.

Kissimmee police ask people to be on the lookout for Claudia’s car: a blue 2009 Nissan Sentra with Florida tag 561 8TD.

Her mother said the car is instantly recognizable with an Our Lady of Guadalupe decal on the back windshield. Police said the car was last seen near St. Cloud.

"A vehicle makes them extraordinarily mobile, but to exist in today’s modern society, you will leave an electronic footprint," law enforcement expert David Nutting said.

Kissimmee police said they are not releasing more information about the case as two mothers struggle to explain it.

Boza said she knows she will find her daughter and the two will be safe.

"Nicolas loves me too much," his mother, Regla Tereza Fernandez, said. "Every day, he called me. Every day, ‘Good morning, mom. Goodnight, Mom. I miss you, mom.’"

The families say they've been searching and ask people around Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach to be on the lookout. Boza said Claudia loves the beach, and that's where they could have been going.

Police said they "are pursuing all leads." The families have posted their own fliers on social media announcing the couple's disappearance.