Published January 13, 2015
The body of a woman found in the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend has been identified as that of a South Florida mother missing since last Thursday.
Fort Lauderdale officials tell the Miami Herald that the body of a woman found by Coast Guard officials about 20 miles east of the Sebastian Inlet is Josephine Frenna, 51, who disappeared a day before a court hearing on a restraining order against her husband.
The St. Lucie County medical examiner used dental records to identify the body, the paper said.
Frenna, who recently moved from Canada, had told a Broward County judge that she and her son were "afraid for our life" because her estranged husband, Gerardo Di Marco, is "violent" and "dangerous," according to reports.
Frenna’s 14-year-old son became suspicious Thursday when he returned from school to find his mother’s car, purse and cell phone, but no trace of her. Police searched nearby apartments, hospitals, jails and airlines with no luck.
Police are still investigating the cause of her death.
Frenna’s family and friends have been interviewed as well. Di Marco was located Friday by Fort Lauderdale police and has been cooperative, police told the Herald.
Frenna’s restraining order request claimed her husband had broken through doors with an ax and changed the locks on their home, as well as threatened to throw her off the couple’s balcony.
Di Marco had indicated he planned to leave Florida and was seeking joint custody of the couple’s son. He tried to get a court order barring Frenna from selling their assets and was named the beneficiary of her life insurance policy.
Di Marco’s attorney, Marc Shelowitz, told the Miami Herald on Friday he was shocked to hear Frenna was missing.