What Happened to the Florida Dalma Rogue? He went to Guatemala for plastic surgery and never returned.

Floridalma Roque arrived at the Perfectima Clinic in Guatemala City on the morning of June 13 for scheduled plastic surgery. A day later, Rog, an American citizen, disappeared without a trace.

Rogue's family has been searching for her ever since, and the experience leaves them feeling isolated and desperate as they try to navigate two criminal justice systems and a dead-end criminal investigation.

Roque's daughter, Vida Roque, 22, told CBS News that she spoke to her stepfather Jeremiah on June 14, who was crying and said her mother had not come home from the clinic. Roque, who lives in New York, underwent a successful operation at a Guatemalan clinic a year ago and returned with liposuction on her back and arms, her daughter said.

Floridalma Roque arrives at Perfectima Clinic in Guatemala City on June 13, 2023 for plastic surgery.

Office of the Prosecutor against Guatemala Femicide

Her daughter said that Roque did not like to travel alone and was always accompanied, and it was unusual for her to travel alone after surgery. Vida called her mother's phone several times but there was no answer. Rosario Sandoval, a relative, agreed to pick Roque up from the clinic at 10 a.m. the day after the surgery, Vida said.

Sandoval told Vida that she went to the clinic and spoke to the receptionist, who contacted the surgeon. Dr. Kevin Maloof told Sandoval that he had left the Rogue Clinic at 7 a.m. in an Uber.

That was the first of many red flags for the 59-year-old caregiver's children from Queens.

Shifting and conflicting narratives

“My mom doesn't know how to order an Uber, she doesn't even have the app,” Vida, who lives in Maryland, told CBS News. Her son Jose Lopez, 42, told CBS News that he usually talks to his mother every day, so it's strange that he hasn't heard from her.

Vita said Maloof told Sandoval that Roque had crossed Rogue Street when Sandoval took her Uber and questioned her. At first, she said, she went by herself. He later said he was with a nurse and in a wheelchair. Maloof said Sandoval Clinic staff helped him get to his car.

His story kept changing and the family felt he was not telling the truth. But they felt there was little they could do. This clinic is very popular and considered one of the most luxurious plastic surgery providers in Guatemala. It's in an upscale neighborhood with nice shops, and Rogue has been to the clinic before.

Video footage shows a patient being taken from a plastic surgery clinic in Guatemala City.

Office of the Prosecutor against Guatemala Femicide

“The clinic's responses don't add up,” Vida told CBS News.

The family saw surveillance video obtained by Guatemalan police that showed a woman being taken away from the clinic, but the family did not believe the woman in the video was their mother. The children said the woman in the video was tall and their mother was petite.

Vida contacted the police in New York, but said she was told there was nothing they could do about a missing person in another country.

He then reached out to the FBI and the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, asking for help in locating his mother — but again to no avail. The Office of Foreign Citizens in DC put Vida in touch with the FBI, and officials said local authorities should handle the case and could only make “strong recommendations.”

“We are aware of a missing US citizen in Guatemala and are monitoring the situation,” a State Department spokesperson said. The spokesperson said they are working closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts and are sharing information with families “as best we can”.

A spokeswoman said no further comment would be made due to privacy concerns.

The FBI national office did not respond to an emailed list of questions.

Miami-based attorney Frank Rubino, an international criminal defense expert who represented Manuel Noriega before the U.S. Supreme Court, said the U.S. government needs an invitation from local law enforcement to conduct an investigation on foreign soil.

Rubino said cases in Central America are particularly challenging, but said the U.S. government should be involved because “she's an American citizen” and would help if the family wants to see results. The FBI may seek permission from Guatemalan authorities to investigate Roque's disappearance, he said.

Doctor arrested

Ultimately, the case was investigated by Guatemalan police, who obtained surveillance video from the clinic, the country's public ministry, which oversees justice matters, told CBS News in a statement.

Video footage shows clinic staff carrying large trash cans.

Office of the Prosecutor against Guatemala Femicide

Clips from surveillance video show a patient leaving the office with a bandaged head; The family says they don't recognize the man, and additional surveillance video shows strange behavior by the doctor and the clinic. It shows clinic staff carrying a large garbage container and bags on the night Roque disappeared.

In response to questions from CBS News, Guatemala's Public Ministry said, “On July 28, 2023, the Prosecutor's Office against the crime of femicide searched, inspected, recorded and seized evidence at four properties. Weeks ago by the Roque family.”

The police arrested a few people, including the doctor and some clinic staff, nurses, an anesthetist and an assistant at the clinic. Kevin Malouf, Ligia Silva, Luis Castro and Susana Rojas were arrested, the public ministry said. The public ministry said the prosecutor's office against the crime of femicide presented sufficient investigative leads to link the four accused to Roque's disappearance and charge them with kidnapping and preventing criminal activity.

Excerpt from a Guatemalan police report

Courtesy Rogue Family

On a June 19 reported on his Facebook account, Dr. Maloof said that after a successful surgery, Roque left the clinic at 7:00 a.m. and exited the lobby in a wheelchair, then he got into a vehicle and left. Maloof said he had no contact with Roque and “found out about her disappearance that day.”

On October 19, the court issued precautionary measures for bank accounts related to the doctor, the public ministry said, and Malouf has been jailed. An investigation is ongoing, the public ministry confirmed to CBS News.

There has been no sign of Rogue since her disappearance.

Caught between two worlds

Roque's children told CBS News they have not received a death certificate from the U.S. or Guatemalan authorities and do not have their mother's body. More than six months after Rog's disappearance, her apartment remains the same as when she left it, and the family has no way of declaring her dead.

If Rogue is not discovered, it can take months or years for the family to obtain a death certificate. “Without a body, the family is in a difficult situation,” said Renee Williams, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Williams said there are concerns about insurance fraud and that courts need to make sure “the person doesn't come back.”

Prosecutors in Rogue's case did not prove a crime.

“Declaring someone dead without a body — especially with the added layer of an out-of-country offense — is a complicated process,” Williams said.

Floridalma Roque, 59, missing since June 13, 2023. His family has been searching for him ever since.

Courtesy Rogue Family

Williams said victims of crime or their families should contact a victim support group immediately. Attorneys can provide the family with resources and help them navigate the often tricky path to closure.

Roque's children, siblings and husband have traveled to Guatemala to pressure investigators.

“It was very difficult because the doctor had a lot of resources and money,” said his son Jose Lopez.

Jonathan Villatoro, Roques' lawyer in Guatemala, who is advising the family, said the case is on hold because he and his family want to get “a judge who has the most impact for the type of crime being tried.” The public ministry said the defense asked for the judge to be transferred.

“We're stuck between two worlds,” Vida said, as her family waited and waited for answers.

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