May 11, 2013

'When is it our turn? When is it my turn?'

A Maine family is happy for relatives of women found in Cleveland. But they await word of their missing son.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

When Ramona Torres sees stories in the news like that of three Cleveland women who were found after a decade of captivity, she is happy for the families.

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Ramona Torres of Denmark holds a photo of her son who disappeared 14 years ago, as she stands by the garden she made as a memorial to his life. “I go there and I talk to him when something happens to us,” she said.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Angel “Tony” Torres was last seen by his parents on Mother’s Day in 1999. Now they hope for information to give them peace.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

CAN YOU HELP?

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Angel Torres is asked to call Maine State Police at 800-228-0857.

But it doesn’t make her hopeful. It magnifies her pain, if that’s possible. Her son, Angel “Tony” Torres, has been missing for 14 years.

“When is it our turn?” she said, sobbing. “When is my turn?” The last time she saw him was Mother’s Day, 1999.

Police believe the 21-year-old was a victim of foul play, but have no body and no crime scene.

Ramona and her husband, Narciso Torres, of Denmark, also believe their son Tony is dead.

As the anniversary of his disappearance approaches next week, they are hoping that somebody will provide information that will give them some peace.

"We would like to know for sure he's no longer with us," Narciso said. "When someone dies, you have a get-together to honor the person, to say your proper goodbyes, and we haven't really had that opportunity."

"What we want to do is find his body and bring it home," his wife said.

Angel Torres was 6 years old in 1984 when his parents moved to Maine with him and his brother Luis, nine years older. A few years later, his brother Jamel was born.

He attended Bonny Eagle High School, then transferred, graduating from Fryeburg Academy. He won awards playing soccer, basketball and baseball, and got decent grades even without working hard, his mother said.

"He was very bright," Ramona said. He was popular and loved to entertain. He liked girls, loved dancing and liked the New York Yankees.

"I grew up in the Bronx, my husband in Brooklyn," she said. "Growing up in the Bronx wasn't easy for me. I was lucky to get out of there alive. We always talked about how fortunate we were to be here. How fortunate they were to be here."

Angel was known as Tony because in Maine, Angel is a girl's name.

He resisted speaking Spanish at home with his parents, but studied it for four years in high school and was getting a minor in Spanish at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, along with a major in psychology.

He was finishing his junior year when he called home to announce he was moving in with his girlfriend. His parents insisted he come home to discuss it.

Narciso, a special education teacher at Bonny Eagle High School and an umpire for after-school sporting events, had a heart-to-heart with his son, complimenting him on his maturity. He told his son that he just wanted to make sure Torres was growing in the right direction.

His parents decided he was ready for the change and wished him well. They next heard from him on Tuesday, May 19, when he called to wish them a happy anniversary. It was 5 p.m., suppertime, Ramona recalled. He said he would call in a couple of days when he got a phone.

Ramona couldn't shake a feeling of dread that something would go wrong. When Tony called a couple of days later, nobody was home, so he left a message. She listened to it over and over. When her husband asked if she was going to erase it, she said no.

The next day, Ramona paged Tony on his pager, which he carried in the days before cellphones. He didn't call back.

"Rapidly it started getting worse for me. I started getting really emotional inside," she said.

She finally spoke to a friend who said Tony had headed to Maine, that his girlfriend had dropped him at the bus station a couple of days earlier.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

20130510_Torres
click image to enlarge

Sports balls are laid upon a bench in the garden made by Ramona Torres of Denmark, dedicated to her son Angel “Tony” Torres, who disappeared 14 years ago.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

  


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