The autopsy of Debanhi Escobar reveals that she was murdered and suffered sexual violence

The young Debanhi Escobar, in a photo taken from social networks. im.jeny09 (RR.SS.)

Debanhi Escobar, 18, was murdered and sexually abused before she died. This reveals the second forensic report requested by the family, to which EL PAÍS has had access. This opinion, which reviews the first official autopsy, rules out the hypothesis of a possible accident of the young woman that the Nuevo León Prosecutor’s Office has suggested in recent weeks. The girl, who disappeared on April 9 and whose body was found almost two weeks later in a motel cistern on the outskirts of Monterrey, was hit several times with a “blunt agent” on the head and died before reaching the tank. of water. “This is a violent homicidal death,” the text concludes. And her body presented “traces of a violent sexual relationship.” The Debanhi case it has become a symbol of the disappearances and murders of women in Mexico and has opened deep cracks in a collapsed justice system.

The Prosecutor’s Office integrated this information into the investigation folder, although the details about his death had not been revealed until now. This newspaper has tried to contact the institution on several occasions to request its version of the lack of information and has not received a response. Since the discovery of the body, on April 21, the Prosecutor’s Office has only reported on the cause of death: cerebral contusion. However, he did not mention more details about whether or not she had suffered abuse, whether she had drowned or had already fallen dead into the water cistern of the Nueva Castilla motel. The absence of official information made it possible to justify the hypothesis that Debanhi had fallen into that water tank alone. While the Escobar family buried her only daughter, more doubts arose than certainties. It was then that her father, Mario Escobar, requested a second autopsy — dated April 25 — and later handed it over to the authorities: that is the document to which this newspaper has had access.

The second forensic opinion —which analyzes the images of the medical examination of the corpse, diagnostic tests and conclusions— indicates that the body of Debanhi Escobar showed signs of sexual violence. A fact that the first autopsy did not mention or analyze. Nor did the Prosecutor’s Office report it, which has had the independent report, requested by the Escobar family, since May 2. “The body shows traces of a vaginal, violent and recent sexual relationship,” the text explains. “This is deduced from having found violaceous ecchymoses and bruises” in the outer area of ​​the genitals.

The coroner concludes that the young woman died before her body was introduced or thrown into the water tank – he does not assess how it got there. It coincides with the first autopsy in the cause of her death, due to deep blows to the head, that is, due to an “intracranial hemorrhage that caused a neurogenic shock [daño al sistema nervioso] and this, a respiratory arrest. The most serious injury, which caused his death, was a hard impact on the right frontal region of the skull. But the second autopsy goes further.

Debanhi had more head injuries than just one, as the conclusion of the first public autopsy seemed to suggest. “Violaceous ecchymoses on both sides of the frontal region of the skull, on the right and left eyelids, on the left side of the nose, on both lips, above the right ear and the right retroauricular region,” the document states. According to the manner of death described by the doctor, “the craniofacial contusions are of external origin to the body and because they are intense, repeated [en varias ocasiones] and with different angles of impact, it follows that they were caused by another person and that it is a violent homicidal death”. The coroner specifies that it must have been with a “blunt mechanical agent”, that is, she was not hit with a sharp weapon.

The girl did not drown. The cistern had a water depth of 90 centimeters, according to the authorities in a press conference. Although the forensic doctor points out in the second opinion that he must have been on a waterline, face down, since the back of his body appears “dark and dehydrated”, with respect to the analysis of the front part, which is “softened ” For the water. But “liquid inside the trachea and bronchi” was not found, so the coroner ruled out her death by drowning. And he points out: “She was already lifeless at the time of entering the water of the place where her body was found.”

Nor does he observe injuries to the neck, carotids, or the hyoid bone, so he also rules out death by suffocation or strangulation. Neither obstruction of the respiratory orifices, nor of the airways, nor of “thoracoabdominal compression, nor of burial, nor of confinement”, therefore, it also rules out asphyxia due to suffocation.

Another of the forensic tests that determine that he did not fall, in addition to the cause of death mentioned, is that he did not have any fractures or other injuries, apart from those of the head, according to the X-rays that were made of the corpse. It is observed, however, the fracture of a nail -orange acrylic- “transversely at the level of its middle part”.

Debanhi was barefoot, wearing socks, and with a partially naked torso. She “she Presents a white sleeveless blouse, slipped towards the neck outside the upper right extremity [brazo derecho] and on the left side, slid to the left armpit inside the left upper extremity [brazo izquierdo]”, states the report.

The silences of the Prosecutor’s Office

Mario Escobar publicly denounced the hypothesis of the accident presented by the authorities shortly after the discovery of the body. And he has not stopped publicly insisting that his daughter was “murdered.” But the indications of the forensic opinion that pointed to femicide had not been revealed.

Debanhi disappeared on April 9, shortly after the discovery of the body of another young woman, that of María Fernanda Contreras, 27 years old. The two cases, added to the dozens of disappearances of women in the State, opened a deep crisis that the Prosecutor’s Office is trying to contain by forced marches. A tragedy that has cornered Governor Samuel García, who took office in October of last year and has caused a climate of national outrage. The feminist groups came to burn down the headquarters of the state government and press for the authorities to solve not only the case of Debanhi, but also that of Yolanda Martínez —disappeared on March 31 and found dead on Sunday— and another 57 who disappeared this year and that they have not yet located. In total, in the entity, there are more than 1,799 missing women, according to the National Search Registry.

The Nuevo León Prosecutor’s Office committed a series of negligence and errors during the search for Debanhi Escobar that led to the dismissal of two prosecutors, the Anti-kidnapping and the Missing Persons. The most serious: the motel had been searched up to four times before locating the young woman’s body. Also, the absence of key videos from the security cameras of the compound. Some failures that try to amend these days, weekly providing concise details about the investigation.

The Femicide Prosecutor’s Office, headed by Griselda Núñez, has shown some images of Debanhi on the premises. A video in which it is observed how the young woman runs into the motel and another in which she is observed, at 4:54 in the morning, peeking into an abandoned restaurant, near the pool area and the cistern, where found his body. The last clue that the prosecutor has mentioned is that of a car that is parked at the door of the motel and a man gets into it, about 45 minutes after the cameras last captured Debanhi. The authorities have reported that they have “secured” five more vehicles that entered the establishment that morning. And this week they have searched twice the room 174 of the motel looking for traces of the young woman’s DNA, at the request of her father. They have not provided any further information.

Despite the advances in the investigation, the hypothesis of the accident was still valid. And the Debanhi case It became a macabre television show where both the friends who accompanied her to a party that night, as well as the driver who abandoned her on the road that leads to the motel, offered interviews that blamed the young woman for her own death. “She was not in her five senses,” she concluded. Other media even suggested that she had “something” in her bag, which they preferred not to mention out of respect for her family.

No official information has offered more details about her last hours, despite the fact that the second autopsy they have had for almost two weeks indicates conclusively that she was murdered, suffered sexual abuse and was beaten several times before reaching the cistern. Nor is there a single detainee more than a month after what happened. And her case, like that of thousands of others throughout the country, looks into the labyrinth of impunity that prevails in Mexico, where 95% of cases are not resolved.

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The autopsy of Debanhi Escobar reveals that she was murdered and suffered sexual violence