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Nov 10, 2015 5:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Husband Of Missing Sagaponack Woman Speaks Out

Carlos Aucapina, estranged husband of missing woman Lilia Aucapina, spoke on Tuesday at the Southampton office of his lawyer, Colin Astarita.  DANA SHAW
Nov 11, 2015 11:19 AM

More than a month has passed since Lilia Aucapina of Sagaponack went missing, and her estranged husband finally spoke out this week, asserting his innocence and saying he is hopeful that she will return soon.

Carlos Aucapina, 50, said his 40-year-old wife is a “strong woman” who is very conservative and regularly attended church at the Ministerio Restauracion A Las Naciones on County Road 39 in Southampton.

After she was reported missing on October 10, Mr. Aucapina spent about a week in jail, accused of violating an order of protection. During that time, he said, he thought a lot about his wife, adding that he believes she is all right.

“My hopes, my prayer, is that she will come out in some given time and date and say, ‘I’m here and I’m ready to take [responsibility] for my actions,’” Mr. Aucapina said. “That was my hope—I hope and believe that she is okay.”

Ms. Aucapina had sent a text message to both her children the day she was reported missing, one that said something along the lines of “Remember, Mommy loves you,” according to Mr. Aucapina and his attorney, Colin Astarita.

Southampton Town Police Lieutenant James Kiernan said he could not confirm exactly what the text message said, but did say, as did Mr. Astarita, that the message was sent in Spanish—Ms. Aucapina’s native language—after she was last seen but before she was officially reported missing by her son, Ronald Aucapina, 12 hours after she was seen.

Police have investigated where the phone was last used, but they “try to keep that out of the press so that the bad guys don’t hide their tracks,” Lt. Kiernan explained.

Mr. Aucapina said he does not believe that Ms. Aucapina committed suicide—one possible interpretation of the text message—because she is a “strong person in her beliefs.” He noted that the day she went missing, she was supposed to go to a doctor’s appointment with her brother in New York City.

Mr. Aucapina said he took a polygraph test Monday at Suffolk County Police headquarters in Yaphank because he does not want the police to spend time and energy investigating him rather than searching for his wife.

“It is obvious for him to be a suspect as one of the last people to have seen her with the proximity of her making that request that he stay next door,” Mr. Astarita said. As to why the order of protection was issued in the first place, Mr. Aucapina said that his wife just “wanted space” and that she was unsure about her feelings for him. Mr. Astarita said that neither one of them had officially filed for divorce, although earlier in the investigation police had said that they were in the process of divorce and, after all, the stay away order was issued in Suffolk County Family Court.

There was a little bit of “friction” between the two of them, Mr. Astarita said, adding that for an order of protection to be issued, there usually needs to be a basis for it. He said that although “it seems like it’s a little light,” he was not aware of any physical abuse on Mr. Aucapina’s part.

“She said ‘I don’t know about my feelings now, my feelings right now are that we can’t sleep together,’” Mr. Aucapina said about her justification for the order of protection. “And, I said, ‘Okay, I’ll move next door.’”

The lie detector test results will not be available until next week, Mr. Astarita explained, because a supervisor needs to look at it and will not be in until then. That is “standard operating procedure,” the attorney said.

He noted that Mr. Aucapina was not the last person to have seen his wife, because he left the Meeting House Medical Practice in Wainscott on Saturday, October 10, as soon as she asked him to and when her male friend, Angel Tejada, decided to call the police.

Mr. Tejada told Southampton and East Hampton town police he and Ms. Aucapina had walked to the medical practice to pick up Ms. Aucapina’s car, which was parked there overnight.

At the time, Mr. Aucapina accused Mr. Tejada of having an affair with his wife, according to arrest and incident reports filed at East Hampton Town Justice Court. According to Mr. Tejada’s statement, Mr. Aucapina called Ms. Aucapina’s brother, Carlos Parra, who also confronted her at the medical practice.

Mr. Astarita said Mr. Aucapina may have violated the order of protection because he wanted proof that his wife was having an extramarital relationship. “Her family was seeing that she was doing this, which may have created—potentially—that feeling of embarrassment or shame.”

Mr. Aucapina said that he had never met Mr. Tejada before, but was aware of who he was because “I saw texts coming in to my wife’s phone.” When he saw Mr. Tejada that Saturday morning, he said he did not know it was him until they started talking. “Something new for me is that my wife has a new friend, you know, how come?” Mr. Aucapina asked, explaining that he had been curious to know who he was.

Mr. Astarita said Mr. Tejada’s Facebook is “wacky,” as there are photos of marijuana leaves among other irregular photos.

Currently, Ms. Aucapina’s car is parked at her house, which means that it had to have been driven to her house by someone—who it was remains unclear, but she was last seen with it at the medical practice with Mr. Tejada. Mr. Astarita said that many of her belongings, including her wallet, were in her car. He was unsure whether her license was in the car, but said her phone was not.

Mr. Aucapina said that he remains hopeful that his wife will return and wants to organize a big search for her—there are more than 200 acres of land, as well as two ponds, near their homes on Toppings Path. On Wednesday, he said: “I would like to request a bilingual detective or at least to have a Spanish translator on hand when it’s needed.” Mr. Aucapina said that if police need to speak with many of Ms. Aucapina’s friends, it is difficult because they speak broken English, if any at all. “Maybe they want to explain something,” he said.

“There is so much effort going into it and we are not getting any breaks,” Lt. Kiernan said last week. “I’d be so happy to see her.”

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So, one month later:

"Police have investigated where the phone was last used, but “they try to keep that out of the press so that the bad guys don’t hide their tracks,” Lt. Kiernan explained."

One month later . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 6, 15 12:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hopefully this investigation will end better than that of Sister Jackie Walsh, almost 40 months ago, as of next Monday.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 6, 15 12:11 PM
I fail to see the conection between this story and Jackie Walsh
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Nov 6, 15 6:02 PM
The connection is a question of logic. Each "bad guy" perp would have known from the get-go that the cops were after him, right? And would have been "hiding his tracks" from the outset, right?

So where is the logic in waiting 11 days (Walsh case -- suspect's ID and photo) or a month (here -- last location of phone) to keep the public in the dark.

Doh -- wasn't the perp long gone in both instances?

When the public might have been able to help?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 4:35 PM
The police released very little information about the suspect they were seeking in Sister Jackie's death--this allowed him to escape not just the area, but the country.

By InnerBay (72), Southampton on Nov 10, 15 8:40 PM
PBR loves slinging mud at the Southampton Town Police and brings up the Sister Jackie case whenever possible.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 7:09 AM
Just the facts, no mud needed, mirrors and spotlights do just fine IMO.

Even the Press said in an editorial at the end of 2012 said that the failed investigation was a "gross miscarriage of justice."

Note that the SHT PD (and Supv. ATH by the way) have not updated the public about the case, in spite of all this time.

So many unanswered questions about all the investigative evidence which never had to see the light of day, because no suspect was ever brought to trial.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 4:40 PM
If the Walsh case is officially "dead" why not release all the investigative material? Has the Press filed a FOIL request for it, and would the PD defense to such a request be "still under investigation?" ??? Hah!

The unsolved hit-and-run death of Sister Jackie Walsh is a black eye on Southampton Town which will never go away until ALL the authorities (incl. Supv. Throne-Holst and former Chief Wilson) come clean.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 4:44 PM
Supervisor-elect Schneiderman should declare this unsolved "gross miscarriage of justice" (to quote the Press's editorial) as his first priority when he takes office.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 4:46 PM
PBR is at least reminding us that the STPD COMPLETELY BLEW IT in letting the suspect flee. At least someone is keeping Sister Jackie's case from being forgotten as though it never happened.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 8:28 AM
the last suspect was never in custody, maybe if there were outcry for more police rather than a minimally staffed department, the man power would be there to fulfill your expectations
By JMKG228 (12), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 8:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Inch_High_PI (29), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 1:35 PM
Sorry to say that your comment may be deleted, sir, although the correct identification of the actual driver certainly needs to see the light of day.

What forensic evidence was collected from the car?

Fingerprints, hair samples, saliva, sweat, clothing, etc. ?

Were these all tested for DNA against known samples from the alleged driver's employer, relatives, house guests, and the suspect himself (his hair brush, toothbrush and so forth)?

What is the totality of ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 7, 15 4:56 PM
The comment above was deleted all right.

Rest in Peace Sister Walsh.

Hopefully the fate you met on July 9,, 2012 on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill, will be softened someday when all the facts are revealed.

Three years and four months . . . Ago . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 9, 15 9:48 AM
PBR - you have a lot of questions and it's a rather noble effort you have put forth. However, why don't you ask the PD these questions instead of posting them rhetorically online? You, as a citizen, can file a FOIL request. You can go to Public Hearings and ask the TB what the status is. For someone who is so interested in finding "the truth" you seem to be interested in others doing the work for you.

Additionally, your suspicions regarding Sister Jackie are that it was not the "suspect" ...more
Nov 9, 15 10:36 AM appended by Nature
Oh, so you don't want to tangle with the "goliaths". I guess you subscribe to the same school of thought that our friend HHS does. You certainly could request all of the information and hand it to the Press and comment on here how you have provided them with the information. Or you could take it to Newsday, Or the NYT or start your own blog or any number of things. But I guess it's easier to just whine to the same 5 people for years.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Nov 9, 15 10:36 AM
Things are never as simple as they seem . . .

This David is not interested in tangling with the Goliaths you mention. The Press HAS gotten involved in other high profile cases in great detail (think Publick House homicide a couple of years ago). Hopefully they will re-double their efforts regarding Sister Walsh's unsolved murder.

If the SHT PD has nothing to hide, then release all the investigative material listed above.


Only the Fourth Estate can get ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 9, 15 12:18 PM
Oh Nature, and you wonder why I stopped trying to have an adult, emotionally balanced conversation with you years ago.

Oh, I forgot it is after 4:30 on a work day. I thought this aggressive pattern only started on Friday afternoons!

To quote Nature:

"Oh, so you don't want to tangle with the "goliaths". I guess you subscribe to the same school of thought that our friend HHS does. You certainly could request all of the information and hand it to the Press and comment on ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 9, 15 5:54 PM
Truth Hurts. If you are going to try and goad me, provide a reasoned rebuttal of what I said instead of cutting and pasting my appended comment.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Nov 10, 15 3:59 PM
A police force with a 23 million dollar budget isnt enough? These cops work 170 days a week we got screwed by the unions.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 11, 15 9:15 AM
170 days a week - no wonder they unionized!

By susgeek (41), Speonk on Nov 11, 15 4:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
I never understand the entries on this site. This article is about a missing woman--perhaps murdered, perhaps not. It is about a man who is trying to prove he is not involved with the disappearance. It is the story of a woman (our neighbor) who has children missing their mom. WHY cannot the readers and commenters not stay on topic and have some compassion and respect for this family?
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Nov 12, 15 3:59 PM
Thank you - I have been thinking the same thing .. Give this family that is worried about a loved one the respect they deserve in these threads ....
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 12, 15 6:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Nov 12, 15 4:46 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Nov 12, 15 4:47 PM
What a rosy picture the husband has.The husband wants a bilingual translator? I often wonder what country I'm in. I'm sure the potential kidnapper or killer could have easily texted something from the victims phone. The central American culture loves to abuse, rape , and murder woman. I hope that's not the case here, but rarely do people fall off the face of the earth.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 15, 15 9:44 AM
Any updates on this? Did the lie detector results come in?
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Nov 17, 15 9:39 AM