Alvarez family suspects they know kidnapper

Posted at 6:28 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 14:57:34-04

SAN CARLOS PARK, Fla. - It’s a fight for Uribe Jimenez to hold back tears knowing his 9 year-old daughter is still missing.

Diana Alvarez was last seen in her home on Sunday, May 29th. Her family says she went to bed around 10 pm; Around 2 am her mother woke up to bottle feed one of her younger children.

“I can’t describe it. They don’t know how we feel right now,” Diana’s step-father said.

Diana’s mother woke up again a little before 7 am, this time to get the kids ready for church. This is when she noticed a strange smell coming from their kitchen and saw someone left the stove top on and a pan filled with oil sitting there.

Photos: Search for missing Fort Myers girl Diana Alvarez

“My wife when she woke up she found all the stoves on,” he said. “She asked me if I did it and I said, ‘what are you talking about?’ I had no idea what happened.”

The couple speculates the person who took Diana purposely left the stove top on and may have been planning to set their home on fire.

“After my wife say that she went straight to Diana’s room and that’s the point where she tells me Diana’s not here.”

A suspect has not been named by detectives in this case, yet.

Four In Your Corner found 45 sex offenders and registered predators live within a 5 mile radius of their home. There are seven offenders listed within a mile radius, and one sex offender lives on her street.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office tells FOX 4 their investigation includes taking into consideration the sex offenders that live near by. They did not confirm, however, if one of the sex offenders are being considered a suspect.

Diana’s parents Uribe and Rita Jimenez tell Four In Your Corner they weren’t aware so many sex offenders lived near their home. Despite the alarming number, they say they don’t think it’s likely an offender took their daughter. They believe an old roommate may have kidnapped her.

“He left like a month ago before this thing happened,” Diana’s stepfather says. “He said, ‘I’m going to move. I don’t have no more job here.”

Jimenez says they believe the man is about 25 or 26 years old. He lived with their family for a short period of time while he searched for work. They never noticed anything strange about him. The mom tells Four In Your Corner the last time they saw him was a week ago when he came back to the house to pick up some of his belongings.

When Diana mysteriously disappeared, her parents tried reaching out to the roommate. They say originally he didn’t answer their calls right away. When they finally got in touch with him he said he was in Orlando looking for work and didn’t know about Diana’s whereabouts.

Diana’s mother tells Four In Your Corner off-camera that her daughter started acting strange a few weeks leading up to her 9th birthday earlier this month. She says Diana started focusing on her appearance much more and out of no where started wanting to wear makeup.

She also said her daughter was close to the roommate who practically became like family during his stay.

They say they thought it was odd their full-grown pitbull didn’t bark throughout the night Diana disappeared, adding, if it would have been someone they didn’t know, the whole neighborhood would have heard their guard dog trying to scare them off.

“The pitbull barks at every little thing,” he said. “He barks at his waterbowl.”

Police are still searching for Diana Alvarez. If you have any information please call crime stopper at 1-800-780-TIPS.