Husband Charged in Strange Case of Missing Florida Woman

American Ana Maria Knezevic vanished from Madrid; friend says strange texts weren't from her
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 17, 2024 9:00 AM CST
Updated May 7, 2024 2:00 AM CDT
After Man Disables Security Cams, Woman Goes Missing
This undated image shows Ana Maria Knezevic, right, and Sanna Rameau. Spanish police are searching for Knezevic, a Colombian American woman who went missing suddenly in Madrid.   (Sanna Rameau via AP)
UPDATE May 7, 2024 2:00 AM CDT

The estranged husband of a Florida woman who disappeared three months ago in Spain has been charged by US federal agents with her kidnapping, the AP reports. The FBI and other federal agents arrested David Knezevich (variously spelled Knezevic) at Miami International Airport on Saturday. The Fort Lauderdale resident is charged in connection with the Feb. 2 disappearance of his 40-year-old wife, Ana Knezevich, from the Madrid apartment where she had been staying since shortly after their separation last year. David Knezevich, a 36-year-old originally from Serbia, briefly appeared in Miami federal court Monday and will have a bond hearing Friday. The Knezeviches have been married 13 years and own a business together; Ana's brother told police her estranged husband was angry that they would be dividing a substantial amount of money in their divorce.

Feb 17, 2024 9:00 AM CST

Ana Maria Knezevic traveled from South Florida to Spain in December to get away for a while. Her family and friends say the naturalized American originally from Colombia has been going through a nasty divorce from her Serbian husband, but the trip was also a chance to explore new places. Then, she vanished—two weeks ago, shortly after a man wearing a motorcycle helmet disabled the security cameras at her Madrid apartment building by spray-painting the lenses. The next day, two friends received separate text messages—one in English, one in Spanish—from the 40-year-old's phone saying she was running off for a few days with a man she'd just met. "It is very unsafe and crazy behavior. She wouldn't do that," Sanna Rameau, the friend who got the English text, told the AP. It was written, she said, in an emotionless style that wasn't Ana's.

The Spanish message was so flat it appeared to have been written in English and run through Google Translate, Rameau said, adding, "It just didn't make sense." Knezevic is also tiny—smaller than the 4 feet, 11 inches listed on her driver's license, Rameau said: "I can lift her up with one arm and carry her away." Ana traveled with Rameau in Austria in January and planned to see a Spanish friend in Barcelona on Feb. 5 before reuniting with Rameau in Madrid starting Feb. 8. But on Feb. 2 at about 9:30pm local time, the helmet-wearing man disabled the apartment complex's security cameras—something no one searching for Ana knew for almost a week. She had a normal phone call with a friend about a half-hour later. Neighbors said they last saw her about that time. The next day, Rameau became alarmed when she got two texts from Knezevic's phone.

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"I met someone wonderful!! He has a summer house 2H (hours) from Madrid," read one text. A second text read: "Yesterday after therapy I needed a walk and he approached me on the street! Amazing connection. Like I never had." Rameau said there's no chance her friend would have run off with a stranger. Police in Madrid and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were notified, launching investigations on each side of the Atlantic. Both agencies are being tight-lipped about where the search stands, with each declining comment. The US Embassy in Madrid also declined comment. Spain's Missing Persons Association has posted Knezevic's photo around the nation's capital, but it hasn't received any responses, per a spokesman. More here, including on Knezevic's "nasty" divorce.

(More missing woman stories.)

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