Three-year-old Pilar's father, Marco allowed her babysitter, Melissa Cooper to take Pilar on vacation for two weeks on January 30, 1999.
Melissa took Pilar to the Trail Apartments in Punta Gorda, Florida (which is 135 miles from the Rodriguez home in Hollywood, Florida) and her boyfriend, Keith Allen Wilson was with them. Marco contacted police when Melissa and Pilar weren't back by February 22, 1999. Melissa and Keith didn't have Pilar and claimed that Marco picked her up.
Keith claims that Pilar was being physically abused by Marco, but there was no evidence that Marco abused Pilar or he was involved in her disappearance. Keith switched his story and claimed that Melissa (who is an insulin-dependent diabetic) collapsed in a store and ended up in the hospital. When Melissa came back to the hotel room that she shared with Pilar, Pilar was nowhere to be seen, but Keith soon denied it happened.
Shortly after Marco filed a report with the police about Pilar's disappearance, Melissa was found at her aunt's home in Wisconsin and she claimed that she left the vacation home Melissa shared with Pilar and Keith after Keith was physically abusive towards her & Pilar.
Melissa says that Keith severely assaulted Pilar and hit her head into the wall. Pilar turned blue and went into convulsions, but Keith refused to get medical care for her. Then, Keith put Pilar's body in a trash bag and got rid of her body in an unknown location. Keith denied Melissa's allegation and claimed that she was responsible for Pilar's death, but Melissa took a polygraph exam and passed.
After a tip from fishermen in November of 1999, officials drained Preacher's Lake (a popular swimming location in Charlotte County, Florida.) They found unspecified biological matter which is believed to be Pilar's remains and after discovering that, police investigated Pilar's case a homicide.
Police found some child-size t-shirts and one of them was a "Winnie the Pooh" shirt that Marco says that Pilar was wearing when she left with Melissa, but there wasn't any of evidentuary value found in the lake. The Peace River in Charlotte County, Florida was searched in February of 2001, but there wasn't any evidence.
Marco filed a wrongful death suit against Keith despite the fact Pilar's body wasn't found and no arrests were made in her case. The suit was later dismissed when the attorney on the case withdrew due to a conflict of interest.
Marco was raising Pilar on his own and her mother lives in Ohio.
Keith was considered a prime suspect in Pilar's presumed murder, but in August of 2010, Melissa Cooper is now the prime suspect. She was charged with aggravated manslaughter for failing to protect Pilar from injury at the hands of someone else which caused Pilar's death through "culpable negligence" and now faces 30 years in prison if convicted.
Pilar's body has never been located.