Officers explore Fallon leads in search for missing mother

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson City Search & Rescue workers walk back to their cars after searching an area near Moundhouse Saturday.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson City Search & Rescue workers walk back to their cars after searching an area near Moundhouse Saturday.

Investigators searched a Fallon hotel room Saturday which a man suspected in the disappearance of a Carson City woman checked out of hours after she was last seen.

Juan Carlos Tellez left the room about two hours after he reportedly dropped off the woman's bloodied 3-year-old son near a store 40 miles to the west, according to Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong. Tellez had checked in under the name Oscar Melendez three days before.

Bertha Anguiano, 33, has been missing since Monday morning. She was last seen at Empire Elementary School where she dropped of an older son. She never opened her video store La Casita Video on Woodside Drive. Her son was found wandering the Smith's store with a superficial head wound 70 minutes after she was seen at the school. The toddler had blood on his shirt, pants, shoes and socks.

Authorities expect blood test results from the Washoe County Crime Lab on Thursday.

Anguiano's husband is continuing to cooperate with authorities and is not a suspect at this time. He has told authorities his wife was having an affair with Tellez, Furlong said.

The sheriff couldn't comment on Anguiano's condition or whereabouts.

"It'd be pure speculation," he said. "I am hopeful that she is still alive and that we can return her to the family."

Investigators collected fingerprints, hairs and fibers from the Fallon hotel room and registration papers from the office. Tellez had been asked to leave the hotel room because of damage he caused both to the hotel's exterior and the inside of the room. It appears he forced his way into a room, Furlong said.

Tellez checked out of the hotel in person Monday, though it's not clear whether he was alone or if he was seen with anyone.

"That information is being held back until we get better details," Furlong said. "We are still attempting to isolate and interview persons who we know had contact with him."

Employees at the hotel, the name of which was not released, called the Fallon Police Department after hearing of the case. Carson authorities learned about the lead late Friday night.

The department is following up on leads all over the region. Saturday morning at 2 a.m. Furlong watched a store's security video tape on the east side of Washoe Lake.

"I reviewed it - not related," he said. Another person called in to say they saw Tellez in a phone booth east of Carson, but it was another false alarm.

"We're doing a hell of a lot of these that just dead end," Furlong said. "Everybody in the community wants to help. None of these are fruitless. Every one helps us and no one should hesitate to call us."

Furlong and his investigators are working long hours on the case. The sheriff said he is looking forward to the return of Undersheriff Steve Albertsen who since Tuesday has been training on how to deal with the media during a major event.

The department has been swamped with calls from media outlets across the nation.

"I have gotten calls from every point in this country," said Furlong, who did an interview for "Good Morning America" at 3 a.m. Thursday.

"America's Most Wanted" film crews followed eight members of the Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team on search of the gravel road east of Deer Run Bridge.

Furlong is thankful for the interest.

"You can't imagine how much I appreciate it. There is no way we can reach out and ask people to report leads without using the media."

An award is being offered for information on the whereabouts of Bertha Anguiano or Juan Carlos Tellez. Anyone with information should call Secret Witness at 322-4900 or the Carson City Sheriff's Department at 887-2008.


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