A 22-year-old woman was found half naked, strangled and left dead in a box on a piece of waste ground at Pablo IV and Ramón Carrillo, in Villa Recondo (La Matanza, Buenos Aires province). Despite the shocking nature of the crime, there has been little coverage of the tragedy from news outlets around Buenos Aires and the rest of the country.
If a woman had been discovered murdered and discarded in the bosques of Palermo, would the media have reacted differently?
According to Crónica, the victim has been identified as Beatriz Valencia Parra, a Bolivian national and 22-year-old mother of three children including a new-born baby. Her current partner, 25-year-old Daniel Luna Calle, and his brother Nelson (who happens to be the young woman’s ex-boyfriend with whom she has two children) have now been detained on suspicion of her murder.
A neighbor, who was passing by on Monday morning, spotted the body of the woman in a garbage bag and a box amid the filth. The vacant lot, which lines one side of Ramón Carrillo, is infested with trash, discarded fabric scraps from illegal sweatshops and putrid water.
An autopsy has revealed that the young woman died due to asphyxiation from being strangled with a cord or something similar. Inside a black garbage bag in a cardboard box, she was left half naked with her ankles bound.
Over the weekend, the local authorities took immediate steps to try and identity the victim, checking her against reported disappearances in the area.
The two suspects were arrested, two days after the discovery of the young woman’s body was reported, when the current partner (Daniel) reported the woman’s alleged disappearance on a local radio station instead of going to the authorities. The man’s report allowed investigators to identify the victim and consequently recognize a series of contradictions that led to his arrest.
The suspect allegedly stated that his partner had disappeared on Saturday night when she went to buy milk for their son, born on September 12, and did not return. Coroners have since confirmed that there were signs on the victim’s body of a recent caesarean scar and breastfeeding, but security camera footage shows the suspect’s van leaving the property at approximately the same time that the woman disappeared.
The two men have been arrested, accused of aggravated murder by femicide, although it is believed that the ex-partner, Nelson, was responsible for the killing. It has also been reported that police found about AR$13,000 in cash in one of the men’s pockets, which they believe the suspects were going to use to escape.
Raids and investigations continue and the new-born baby has been left in the care of a grandparent.