SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Police in Sarasota hope to find a mother and her two daughters who have been missing for several days.
According to detectives, 30-year-old Hidalia Bernal and her two daughters were last seen at their home in Friendship Village over the weekend. The girls -- Noemi Olivares, 13, and Claudia Olivares, 9 -- have not been in school since March 11.
Noemi was described as 13 years old, 5 feet tall, 80 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Claudia was described as 9 years old, 4-foot-8 inches tall, 60 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Hidalia is described as 30 years old, 5-foot-4 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
"We want her to know that we are on her side, and we are on the side of her children," Lt. Randy Boyd said. "As soon as we see them, we lay eyes on them and know that they are OK, we can move forward with serving the subpoenas and they can move on with their lives."
Police became suspicious after Hidalia failed to show up in court as a key witness to testify against the girls' father, Roman Olivares. Olivares has been in jail since the fall, charged with lewd and lascivious behavior.
"We don't know what circumstances she is in, whether she left on her own, or whether she was taken," Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said Thursday. "It could be anything from not wanting to testify to something that is worse."
Officers said there was no sign of struggle in the home.
No Amber Alert was issued because there is no known immediate danger to the children - one of the criteria to issue such an alert.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911, Detective Megan Buck at 941-954-7067 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.