Owner desperate to find puppies stolen from scene of fatal crash in Osceola County, troopers say

Have you seen "Mojo" and "Portia"

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. -- A woman seriously injured in a crash that took the life of her father is now searching for her puppies that were stolen from the scene, Florida Highway Patrol says. 

Maritsa Melendez, 55, of Connecticut, is in Florida visiting family in Lake Wales for the holidays. She brought her two new she-poo puppies, Mojo and Portia, with her on the trip. 

On Sunday, December 17, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Melendez was traveling in a car driven by Iraida Santana and her father was in the front passenger seat. For unknown reasons, the driver steered toward the right shoulder and then overcorrected and traveled into the eastbound lane of State Road 60 and the front of the vehicle was hit by a second vehicle which then caused two other vehicles to be involved in the crash. The crash remains under investigation. 

After the crash, a woman approached the vehicle to see if she could help. Melendez was being transported to the Lake Wales Hospital and her father was deceased in the front seat. The woman who said she wanted to help told Melendez she would take care of the puppies since Melendez was being transported. When troopers arrived on scene, no one approached them about the puppies and they are currently missing. 

Melendez told troopers she really misses her puppies and they were a retirement gift for her. If you know where the puppies are you can call Melendez at 860-617-4417. 

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