MANATEE — A woman who has been missing since Monday, drawing the concern of law enforcement, has returned home safely, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Nayeli Torrez, 22, returned to her home this afternoon after her sister reported her missing at about 6 p.m. Monday, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.
Bristow said detectives were extremely concerned for her well-being because she has two children and had never before left without telling family members where she had gone.
Bristow did not release the circumstances of her return.
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Van driver sought in crash on U.S. 41
MANATEE — Florida Highway Patrol troopers are looking for the driver of a van investigators say caused a two-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon and left three women hospitalized.
Troopers are searching for the driver of a white van who at 4:50 p.m. swerved in front of a Lincoln car occupied by three St. Petersburg women, ages 34, 55 and 56, according to the FHP report.
The driver of the van swerved in front of the car while driving north on U.S. 41 at Dock Street. The driver of the Lincoln swerved right to avoid a collision, losing control of the vehicle, which overturned, throwing the rear passenger from the car, FHP reported. Emergency personnel airlifted all three women to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, the driver and front passenger are in serious condition, and the passenger thrown from the vehicle is in critical.
During the crash, the driver of the van also lost control and careened into a ditch on the east side of U.S. 41, but pulled out and left the scene. The van was last seen headed north on U.S. 41, the FHP report said.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of the van and its driver is asked to call FHP Trooper Kenneth Piegari at (941) 751-7647, ext. 420.
34 arrested in 3-month drug sting in county
MANATEE — Detectives have arrested 34 people on various drug charges during a three-month drug enforcement sting, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
During the months of August, September and October, 34 people were arrested on 74 charges ranging from armed trafficking to sale of crack cocaine.
Detectives also seized 140 grams of cocaine, 37 prescription pills and $1,836 during the sweep.
Most of the charges stemmed from undercover drug buys that resulted in the issuing of 125 warrants for 53 people.
Many of the cases are still under investigation as 19 people are still being sought, the sheriff’s report said.
$65,000 in landscaping equipment stolen
MANATEE — The manager of a Manatee landscaping business arrived to work Monday morning to find more than $65,000 worth of property stolen from the business in an apparent burglary.
Sometime between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 5:30 a.m. Monday, someone broke into a storage garage at Greenbriar Landscaping, in the 11000 block of U.S. 301 North, and stole lawn equipment worth $40,400 and a flat bed truck valued at $25,000, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
Deputies found a crowbar and flashlight at the scene that was taken as evidence, the sheriff’s report said.
Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011, or Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.
— Robert Napper and Carl Mario Nudi