Cape Coral police hold a news conference near the spot where Diane Ruiz disappeared

There was an active police search most of the day Wednesday and into Thursday in Cape Coral in connection to missing and endangered woman Diane Ruiz.

The Cape Coral Police Department conducted a search along Pine Island Road across from the German American Club.

Around 2 p.m. Wednesday, two officers were seen taking off on ATVs.

At 4 p.m. CCPD confirmed the search was suspended, in the area of the German American Social Club, for now, but the search will continue in other areas.

WATCH THE CCPD NEWS CONFERENCE

Jerry Stover is an administrator at the Cape Coral Moose lodge. He works with Ruiz, and he said this was not something Ruiz did on her own.

“It has to be some sort of foul play somewhere,” Stover said. “It’s not in her DNA at all.”

Cape Coral police also suspect foul play is at hand. A K-9 officer was being utilized to search a wooded area and one officer was seen tracing steps along Nott Road.

Ruiz’s disappearance has also been connected to the death investigation of Kristine Melton along Tudor Drive in Cape Coral.

”A lot of man hours and time is being put into both of these,” Sgt. Patrick O’Grady said. “And they’re both being taken very seriously. We have also used outside resources.”

Police won’t release the name of the person of interest in both of these investigations at this time.

”We are not going to talk about names at this time,” O’Grady said. “Because we don’t want to ruin any case in the state attorneys office is going to have in prosecuting.”

Family, Friends Pray For Ruiz’s Safe Return 

Friends and family prayed for Ruiz’s safe return Wednesday night during a candlelight vigil at the Cape Coral Moose Lodge, where Ruiz has worked for five years. Dozens of cars packed the Moose lodge, where friends like Connie Reminick said Diane is very missed.  

“Her kids need her. She needs to come home,” Reminick said. “Took care of everybody at the Moose. Very friendly, very bubbly, always smiling.” 

In the five years Ruiz has worked at the lodge, friends say she has never been late and never missed work.

“We tried to reach out through texting and Facebook and everything, and we were unsuccessful doing that,” Stover said. “We definitely knew something was wrong. Within the first hour of her missing, police showed up and started searching.”

Ruiz’s family told us police have not released the name of the person of interest to them either currently. The only connect they’re aware of is the recovery of her cell phone.

Active police search in Cape Coral (WINK News)

Cape Coral police also have a boat with them and other people have been seen looking at maps.

K-9s with the Sarasota Police Department were also at the scene assisting.

A candlelight vigil is being held by friends and family at the Moose lodge Wednesday night for Ruiz.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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