OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Family, friends, and even several investigators close to the case came to pay their respects to the family of Janice Marie Zegonditia-Torres. A funeral service was held for the Kissimmee woman on Friday.
Zengotita-Torres, 42, was mistakenly targeted in what investigators are calling a murder-for-hire plot, stemming from complications over a love triangle. Her body was located in Volusia County after she was reported missing by her family.
"My sister was a mother, a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin that formed part of a great family," said Joselle Marie Zengotita-Torres. "We are confident that justice will be served."
According to investigators, Ishnar Marie Lopez-Ramos, 35, wanted to kill a woman who was in a relationship with a man she had romantic feelings for, so she hired Alexis Ramos-Rivera and his girlfriend, Glorianmarie Quinones Montes, both 22, to do the deed.
Investigators said the victim's accused abductors mistook Zengotita-Torres for another woman. Both women work together at the ROSS Dress for Less at the Loop in Kissimmee. The suspects, followed the wrong woman, Zengotita-Torres, as she left work Sunday night. Detectives said they followed the victim to her apartment, and in the parking lot, they forcibly put her into the back of her own vehicle, and then drove away.
The kidnappers then forced Zengotita-Torres to give them her ATM card and password, so they could withdraw money from her account. Detectives said the kidnappers eventually discovered that they had the wrong woman but still proceeded with their heinous plans.
"It's bad enough to say someone is going to contract someone else to kill somebody," said Major Jacob Ruiz, with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. "The fact that they targeted the wrong person, it's hard to wrap your head around it; it's just despicable, no words to describe it."
Gibson said Zengotita-Torres attempted to fight back but was struck multiple times, which left her unconscious. The suspects eventually drove to Volusia County, where they dumped her body.
The suspects continued to use the victim's ATM card, Gibson said. Undercover detectives from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, the Ormond Beach Police Department, the Kissimmee Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, and the Orlando Police Department all participated in the investigation, staking out area ATMs, in the hopes of finding them.
Lopez-Ramos was nabbed following a series of transactions. She was taken into custody, and she led them to the other two suspects in the case.
All three suspects are now charged with first-degree murder and remain jailed, without bond.
"We do ask of the authorities that the appropriate penalties and sentences be given to those responsible for the death of Janice, for the acts committed," Joselle Marie added.
Zengotita-Torres had moved to Florida from Puerto Rico a year ago, along with her mother, her husband, and their 14-year-old son. She was starting a new life in Osceola County.