Crime & Justice

Mexican government announces 3rd autopsy on girl murdered at motel

Mexico City, May 19 (EFE).- The Mexican government announced Thursday that it will have a third autopsy performed on Debanhi Escobar, an 18-year-old found murdered about a month ago in a motel in northern Nuevo Leon state in an as yet unresolved case of apparent femicide, that is killing a woman because of her gender.

“Yesterday at the meeting … consent was also given to seek a third opinion, a third ruling, to strengthen the analysis and clarify everything, including the absolute cause of Debanhi’s death,” Ricardo Mejia, Mexico’s undersecretary for security, said.

The Mexican government has promised to clarify the still mysterious death of the young law student, whose body was found April 21 in a water tank at a motel on the outskirts of Monterrey after she had gone missing after attending a party on April 9.

The initial autopsy by the Nuevo Leon Attorney General’s Office found that she died from a “deep cranial contusion,” but last week the results of an independent autopsy requested by the family were leaked asserting that her body showed “traces related to sexual violence” and evidence of blows indicating that she was murdered.

Mejia remarked that “the two rulings have differences; one says that there was no sexual assault, the other says that yes there was and (gives) different causes of death.”

“As a result, what is being sought is to be able to issue a technical opinion to … unify opinions on what the cause of Debanhi’s death was,” he said at a morning press conference at the National Palace.

Debanhi’s death has caused an international commotion because of the image that went viral of the young woman being left alive by the side of a road by a taxi driver who allegedly harassed or argued with her, and then took the photo of her after she got out of the cab, but also due to the alleged mistakes made by the Nuevo Leon AG’s Office, which initially classified the death as an accident.

The taxi driver denies any involvement in her death.

The notoriety of the case motivated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to meet last week with Debanhi’s parents, who have criticized the Nuevo Leon authorities’ work on the case.

“The commitment exists to strengthen the collaboration to exhaust all lines of investigation, clarify the truth … and (ensure that) there is no impunity” for the perpetrator of the deed, Mejia said.

He also reported that “in the chain of custody, the Nuevo Leon AG’s Office’s femicide department will send videotaping, recording (and) telecommunications teams to the technical areas of the Security and Citizen Protection Secretariat so they can analyze” any relevant materials in the case.

EFE ppc/cpy/bp

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