Kira Trevino’s sister and mother say they didn’t learn she was missing until Sunday, two days after her husband first reported her disappearance to St. Paul police.
Jeffery D. Trevino, who remained jailed Wednesday on suspicion of homicide in connection with his 30-year-old wife’s disappearance, contacted two of her friends Saturday evening, but didn’t inform family members until Sunday.
“Sadly he had not contacted any of her family members to see if she was with us,” said Kira Trevino’s younger sister, Keri Anne Steger. Kira Trevino’s car was found in a remote area of the Mall of America parking lot Saturday after she failed to show up for work at the Delia’s store she managed there. Police later found her purse and cellphone in the car.
On Tuesday, JefferyTrevino was arrested after police said a seven-hour search of the couple’s home in the 500 block of E. Iowa Avenue revealed evidence that a crime had been committed there.
Authorities said Trevino, 39, could be charged as soon as Thursday morning.
Police have released few details about the investigation and the evidence that led to Trevino’s arrest, including whether any video surveillance footage from the mall has helped in the case.
Maureen Bausch, the mall’s vice president of business development, said there are few places in the mall that aren’t under surveillance. “This building is covered by camera almost completely,” she said. “If you decide to do something that isn’t appropriate, this isn’t a good place to do it. We are watching.”
Police said the case remains a missing persons case, and have not said whether they believe Kira is dead or alive. “There’s still hope,” said her best friend Michelle Stecker, who was visited Saturday by Jeffery Trevino allegedly in search of his wife.
But the search for Kira has taken a toll, the questions about what happened haunting family members as they mobilize volunteers to plaster the metro area with missing persons posters.
“We just want to find her at this point,” said her mother, Marcie Steger. “Too many negative things go through your mind when you do not know the circumstances.”
“Today’s been particularly hard for me because I’m very scared and terrified and worried about what happened to my sister, and I don’t know if I can bear knowing how this is going to affect the rest of our lives,” Keri Anne Steger said. “It is inconceivable to think that we will never see her again. This is absolutely devastating.”
Family members and friends described Kira as witty and thoughtful, someone who went out of her way to help others. She kept her combined family connected to one another despite their busy schedules and geographic distance, her mother and sister said.
Kira Trevino met her husband when she was still living in Wausau, Wis. The couple married and moved to the Twin Cities about three years ago so he could be near a daughter from a previous marriage.
Marcie Steger said her daughter cared for Trevino’s daughter as if she was her own. Kira’s mother and sister declined to say whether there were any signs of trouble in the relationship.
His alleged role in her disappearance was difficult for them to comprehend. He had stopped by Marcie Steger’s house in Wausau Wednesday night while in town for work.
“He petted my dog,” Marcie Steger said. “He talked to my youngest daughter. And the fact that we trusted him to take care of [Kira] to be there for her. It’s anger. It’s shock. You just don’t even want to go there.”
Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call St. Paul police at 651-266-5650.
“Please, keep looking for her,” her mother said.