Jens Sund said Wednesday that he was told not to reveal what agents said about last month's disappearance of his wife, Carol Sund, 42; their 15-year-old daughter, Julie; and family friend Silvina Pelosso, 16, of Cordoba, Argentina. But he told reporters at the FBI command center in Modesto: "I'm devastated. My worst possible fears have come true."
A family friend who was at Sund's side during the FBI meeting said agents didn't tell the family it had found the women, or even their missing rental car. "If they had found the ladies or the car, they absolutely would have told us," Lee Ulansey said.
The FBI had already said that the woman and two girls were probably dead.
Correspondent Tony Russomano of CBS News Station KPIX-TV in San Francisco reports that FBI agents and sheriff's deputies have been excavating at a campground outside Yosemite.
The three women disappeared around El Portal. They were last seen Feb. 15 at the Cedar Lodge, a restaurant and motel in El Portal on Yosemite's rugged western border.
Last Friday, a restaurant employee was arrested, although it's still unknown whether he is a suspect in the disappearance.
FBI Agent Nick Rossi wouldn't say whether the arrest of the restaurant's night cleaner had anything to do with the disappearances. The worker was jailed on a parole violation at the request of the FBI and his parole officer, the Mariposa County Sheriff's Department said.
The FBI wouldn't confirm any new developments in the case, except that it had resumed its search for the missing tourists in the El Portal area.
Rossi said agents would focus their search around El Portal for the next several days.
"It's only natural that we would focus our efforts on the area where they were last seen," he said.
The FBI has set up a command center in Modesto, Calif., where Carol Sund's wallet was found days after she disappeared. Modesto is a two-hour ride from the Cedar Lodge. The families of the missing women have been staying in the town since the disappearance.
Searchers have scoured Yosemite National Park and talked to many local business owners, but possible sightings of the women didn't pan out.
Mrs. Sund, of Eureka, is a member of the prominent Carrington family, which made millions in Northern California real estate. The family is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the car. A separate $250,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of the women.
"It doesn't look good for my family, and I just have to say no comment, which I know sounds like a cop-out, but I do want to protect the strength of the case," Jens Sund said. "Because of the nature of influencing a potential jury in the fuure, I want to cooperate and be as careful as I can."