Nothing Found During Dig at Home of Missing Collingdale Mom

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Acting on a tip, Collingdale police brought search dogs and shovels to the home of Melissa Rodriguez this morning. She's the Delaware County mother who has been missing since April 19. NBC10's Na'eem Douglas was there for the search. (Published Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013)

    The search for a missing Delaware County mother brought investigators back to her home with two search dogs, a warrant and equipment to dig up the yard.

    But they found nothing.

    Melissa Rodriguez has been missing since April 19.

    According to police, detectives returned to the house this morning after neighbors told them they recalled the husband "acting suspiciously" in the yard around the same time that his wife disappeared. Investigators were digging on one side of the house, then stopped while the two dogs went around the fenced-in yard as well as the perimeter of the home.

    The 30-year-old Collingdale woman was estranged from her husband. On the weekend she disappeared, Melissa was planning to visit friends in New Jersey.

    "She never arrived at her friend's house in Newark," Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams said in the early days of the investigation. "She never showed up."

    Rodriguez's car was found parked at her home on the 400 block of Lafayette Avenue. Concerned friends said she would never have just taken off.

    "Leaving without her kids, that never will happen because she is too attached to her kids," said Pauline Rodriguez.

    The missing woman's husband, Jose Rodriguez, told police the couple was separated and that he was in the process of selling their Collingdale home. According to police, Jose Rodriguez told them that on the weekend she disappeared, he knew of his wife's plans to see friends in New Jersey. That Sunday, he said he texted her but never heard back.

    "I ended up taking the kids to school on Monday," he said.

    When Melissa did not show up to her new job that Monday and never came to pick up the couple's 7 and 11-year-old daughters from school, Jose Rodriguez said that's when he realized something was wrong and reported her missing.

    "Mr. Rodriguez is as concerned as everybody else about the whereabouts of his child's mother," his attorney Michael Diamondstein said in May. "He's done everything he can do to assist the police."

    Police searched the husband's work truck on April 29 and two days later, interviewed the couple's daughters. Family members say the girls were the last to see their mother before she went missing.

    "The goal was to bring both girls in so they could speak to the police," said Anthony
    Gil on the night they were interviewed. Gil is an attorney representing the children. "They want to know where their mom is and when it comes down to it, we're trying to get to the bottom of that."

    Investigators say that on the same day Jose Rodriguez reported his wife missing, he also tried to transfer the couple's children to a school in North Jersey. He has since moved to New Jersey with the children.