POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — Detectives have arrested a Pompano Beach man on a murder charge after his wife went missing, saying they have evidence she was killed although no remains have been found.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Ian Lanning, 54, is facing one count of first-degree murder. Jail records do not list an attorney for Lanning.
Fifty-three-year-old Irene Lanning Xeniti was reported missing by her daughter on May 30.
A neighbor who identified herself as Lisa said she spoke with the suspect after his wife’s disappearance.
“I asked him, I said, ‘What happened?’ And he just said, ‘My wife has been missing for a month,'” said Lisa.
Two weeks before Lanning Xeniti was reported missing, BSO detectives went to the couple’s home along Northeast 23rd Avenue, but Lanning told them his wife had left their home on May 14 after an argument and had not made contact with him since, authorities said.
Lisa said something didn’t feel right about the way Lanning was acting.
“I felt like I was standing next to a monster, because he had no emotion about it, none,” she said. “He wasn’t worried. He shared no concern.”
Detectives found out the woman’s phone had been near the couple’s home days after her husband said she had left. They also found information the couple had been traveling in the area around that time, too, the release said.
Worried for Lanning Xeniti’s safety, her family and friends went to social media and pleaded with the public for help.
“Her disappearance makes absolutely no sense at all whatsoever,” said the victim’s daughter in a TikTok video. “Her disappearance is now extremely concerning for her family, friends, loved ones, as well as law enforcement at this point.”
A break in the case came on Wednesday, when detectives got a search warrant for the couple’s home. They found evidence that suggests the woman had been killed inside and that her body was dumped at an unknown location.
In a Facebook post, the victim’s daughter wrote, “Momma I love you.” She also wrote, “My heart aches in such an unexplainable way.”
Family and friends on social media described Lanning Xeniti as loving, kind and always happy.
Lanning was arrested and charged on Saturday. He remains locked up at the Broward County Jail.
Area residents were shocked to learn of the arrest.
“He just seemed like a normal guy. It’s kind of weird to know you kind of interact with and know somebody that is actually charged with it,” said neighbor Jim Wells.
The couple’s home is still considered evidence. 7News cameras captured red tape sealing the front door.
As of Monday evening, detectives have not found Lanning Xeniti’s body.
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