The recent death of an Argentine woman in Ituzaingó has roused suspicion following her autopsy. María Teresa “Taty” Valente was confirmed dead last Saturday. Her body was discovered by a maid in her mansion after the lights in her bedroom had remained on until 10AM. The 62 year-old had been suffering from depression following a separation with her husband, Omar Geraige, some months before. She had also attempted suicide earlier this year. Valentina and her husband were well known in the community, owning two restaurants. “Punta Leloir” and “Punta Libre”, in Ituzaingó.
When police arrived on the scene they were told by relatives that she had died naturally or even that it could have been suicide. However an autopsy revealed that her cause of death was mechanical asphyxiation or smothering. It was reported that she had lacerations inside the mouth, due to pressure exerted on her with some sort of object, like a towel or pillow. This meant she was suffocated without having marks on her skin.
The family has remained largely silent over the issue. Her daughter, Valentina is a lawyer and is closely following the investigation, on Tuesday she waited for the forensic team’s statement in the hope that there would be some kind of “error” in the autopsy. “They still believe it was suicide or at least that’s what they say. Maria Teresa was very depressed, she used to take a cocktail of pills and they won’t fathom the idea of murder. Especially months after her suicide attempt.” trusted friends of the family said to Clarin.
Her son Omar said he left the mansion to go and stay at his girlfriend’s house the night before the murder took place. Investigator María Laura Cristini asked to analyse 15 hours of security camera footage, starting from the point where her son left the mansion.
Following the autopsy results, the prosecutor ordered a series of investigative measures. One key measure being the preservation of the victim’s hands, to see if there are any traces of the killer’s skin under her fingernails. The police have also been ordered to reexamine the mansion. Forensics are searching to see if there are any prints from people outside the family or if they need to look inside the inner circles of the family and friends for the culprit.