Seven thousand, three hundred days.
That’s how long it has been since our middle son, Angel Antonio Torres, known as Tony, was last seen alive. On May 21, 1999, Tony boarded a bus in Boston, stepped off it in Biddeford, Maine, and hasn’t been seen since. This year marks 20 years since he disappeared without a trace.
Our names are Ramona and Narciso Torres. Our family has been living in Denmark, Maine, since 1985. It’s where we relocated from New York City to raise our three boys in what we felt was a safer, more wholesome environment. Tony attended grade school in Denmark and graduated from Fryeburg Academy in 1996. At the time of his disappearance, he was enrolled as a junior at Framingham State University.
Since his disappearance in May of 1999, we have met frequently with our son’s investigative team. They tell us they have done the best they can and are still investigating his case, but we still have questions we may never know the answers to. Was Tony involved in a drug deal? Was he the victim of a hate/racial crime? Or was he simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? The hardest part is not knowing.
We have had our son’s death certificate for the last 15 years. What we do not have is closure. We believe our son’s case has gone cold and so have the leads that have been received over the past 20 years. Despite that, we feel certain our son was murdered and someone knows who did it.
As his mother, I can’t help wondering what Angel would look like at 41 years of age, which he would have been on April 1. Mother’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me, given that Tony’s last trip home was on Mother’s Day, May 9, 1999. A photo of the two of us, Tony with his beautiful smile and arm wrapped around me, is a daily reminder of our loss. He should be a father by now and we should be celebrating our grandchildren’s birthdays. Instead, there is an ever-present pain in my heart that is impossible to describe. Not a day goes by without missing Tony and wishing he were here with us.
We feel so strongly that someone knows what happened and where his remains are. We’re hoping, by reaching out to his peers and the community Tony grew up in, that someone will do us the brave favor of coming forward with information to replace our unanswered questions with facts that will allow us to move on. Can you imagine how hard it is to lose a child and not know where his remains are? Can you imagine — just for one day — what we have experienced every day for the past 20 years?
Anyone who has information about our son is likely a parent by now and can relate to the unimaginable prospect of losing a child in this way. If you have information about Tony, please, please do the right thing and come forward. As long as you keep your silence, whoever killed Tony continues to control you through the information you are withholding. It must be a very heavy burden for you, and it’s information that could bring an end to the constant pain we experience as parents in not knowing. We can’t ask you enough to do the right thing.
The cloud over us does not go away. We continue to hope that someday our son’s remains will be found and brought to us so we can give him a proper burial, just as you or your family would do for your child.
In his memory, the Angel “Tony” Torres $500 book scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior from Fryeburg Academy and Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. A $15,000 reward, which we hope through the generosity of local businesses will be raised to $20,000 by May 21, 2019, is also in place.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Angel Tony Torres, please call the Maine State Police, Major Crimes Unit-South at (207) 657-5710.
Ramona and Narciso Torres live in Denmark, Maine.