The search for a mother missing since April will intensify this morning as police in Collingdale, Delaware County, plan to canvas her neighborhood in search of clues or information.
Melissa Ortiz-Rodriguez, who had wanted a divorce from her estranged husband, Jose Rodriguez, was supposed to make a trip to Newark, N.J. on April 19 to visit friends. She never arrived. Her husband reported her missing four days later when she did not show for a new job or pick up her daughters from school.
Ortiz-Rodriguez was to take public transportation to Newark, her husband said. The friends confirmed that she was expected but that they never received a call to get her, according to police.
Court documents have shown a troubled relationship at home. Ortiz-Rodriguez petitioned for a protection-from-abuse order against Rodriguez on on Feb. 19, officials said. In her petition, she stated that when she tried to leave the home with their two daughters, ages 7 and 11, Rodriguez tore open her suitcase, threw the contents onto the front lawn, broke her cellphone, and pushed her.
However, at a March 7 hearing, she asked that the petition be withdrawn, and in a recent phone conversation with a friend, Ortiz-Rodriguez said Rodriguez "was being nice to her." She allowed him back into the home.
Then she disappeared.