Missing Since 1999 Pilar Rodriguez Case has been reopened

PilarInformation from the Charley Project:

This case was reopened this week when the Sheriff’s Office went to the home of Wilson’s Grandmother and searched for evidence by digging in the yard. Someone somewhere knows what happened to this little girl. The baby sitter blames the boyfriend and he blames her.
The question is which one is lying. Keith Allen the boyfriend who was a trucker in 1999 now lives in Kentucky. This child needs to be found so her father can have some closure. If you know anything- please leave a comment on this site and I will see that it gets to the proper authorities. Help us bring this child home.

“Pilar’s father, Marco Rodriguez, was her custodial parent in 1999. He permitted Pilar’s babysitter, Melissa Cooper, to take the child on vacation for two weeks on January 30, 1999. Cooper took Pilar to the Trail Apartments in Punta Gorda, Florida, located approximately 135 miles from the Rodriguez home in Hollywood, Florida. Cooper’s former boyfriend, a truck driver named Keith Allen Wilson, accompanied them.
Marco called the authorities when Cooper and Pilar did not return by February 22, 1999. Cooper and Allen did not have the child, and they initially claimed that Marco had picked her up. Allen also said he had seen evidence that Marco had physically abused Pilar. Police investigated Marco thoroughly but found no evidence that he was involved in his daughter’s disappearance or that he abused her, though he does have a criminal record for battery and driving under the influence. Pilar has never been seen again.

Wilson later changed his story and claimed Cooper, an insulin-dependent diabetic, collapsed in a store and was hospitalized, and when she arrived back at the hotel room she shared with Pilar and Wilson, the child was missing. Cooper denied that any of this had actually happened.

Cooper was located at a her aunt’s home in Wisconsin shortly after Marco filed a report with law enforcement. Cooper claimed that she fled from the vacation home she shared with Pilar and Wilson after her boyfriend became physically abusive towards her and the child. Cooper said that Wilson beat Pilar severely and knocked her head into a wall. She turned blue and had convulsions. He refused to get medical attention for her and she died. He then put her body in a black trash bag and disposed of the child’s remains in an unknown location. Wilson denied Cooper’s allegations and said that she herself was responsible for Pilar’s death. Cooper took a polygraph exam shortly afterwards and passed, according to one source.

Authorities believe that Pilar was the victim of foul play. Officials drained Preacher’s Lake, a popular swimming place in Charlotte County, Florida which is inhabited by alligators, in November 1999 after receiving a tip from fishermen. They found some unspecified biological matter which they believe is a trace of Pilar’s remains. After the discovery, they announced that they were investigating her case as a homicide. Police also found several child-size t-shirts in the lake, including one with a picture of the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh printed on it. Marco says Pilar had such a shirt with her when she left with Cooper. Nothing else of evidentiary value was found in the lake, however. The Peace River in Charlotte County was searched in February 2001, but no evidence was located.

Marco filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wilson, even though Pilar’s body has never been recovered and no arrests have been made in her case. The suit was dismissed after Marco’s attorney withdrew from the case because of a conflict of interest. Pilar’s mother lives in Ohio; her father was raising her by himself.

Wilson remains the prime suspect in Pilar’s presumed murder; he maintains his innocence. Florida authorities warned law enforcement officials in Kentucky that Marco may have been planning revenge against Wilson after Pilar’s disappearance. Wilson is a resident of Kentucky. Pilar’s case remains unsolved and authorities continue to search for her remains.”



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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We(Missing Children International Ministries)took an interest in Little Pilar Rodriguez’s case in 2004. After I read the case, I knew something UGLY had happened to Pilar. The truth lies between the babysitter and her boyfriend. It’s SUPER sad and very horrible. I was in contact wuith Pilar’s Detective last year. See, I REFUSE to accept that this little girl just VANISHED with NO trace and nowhere to be found…while the boy friend and the baby sitter moves on……I don’t know what was in the big bag that they(Law Enforcement/FBI)dug up in Punta Gorda a few days ago.
    Channel 4 News interviewed on Tues(Nov.3,2009). I don’t want to wish it was Pilar….we just want the truth…what REALLY happened to Pilar when she was with her babysitter and her babysitter’s boyfriend(they know)…I was searching for Pilar’s dad back then and I’m still in need to make contact with him…
    p.s. The truth will surface one day and I hope it’s SOON!!!
    dinorah perry
    Misisng Children

  2. Have discovered your site via google the other day and absolutely adore it. Continue the good work.

  3. I have to wonder why on earth her father let the BABYSITTER take his 4 year old child on vacation???


    They have on their website as of February 27, 2011 actual, graphic crime scene photographs of the victm below shown nude and bound . The detective assigned to this child’s case has said those crime scene photos have never been released and even if they had they don’t belong on a public website.

    If anyone downloads them they may be guilty of viewing child pornography even though the child is deceased and decapitated.

    Personally, I feel the website displays cruel, heartless exploitation toward this child! There is no way displaying her nude body is going to solve her case. They are just hoping for more traffic to their site by displaying those horrific photos of this tiny liitle victim of a hideous rape and murder.
    And by their disregard for the dignity of this
    child and her family they have raped her all over again!

    There have been complaints to the website about the nude crime scene photos of this little child
    and still they remain online for all the pedophiles, necrophiliacs, child killers, and maybe even this child’s killer can see his work and have copies to review any time he wants thanks to the ignorance of this uncaring website!



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