Body of woman discovered in well “not that of missing mother from Murtosa”

Body ‘identified’ by estranged husband

The body of a woman discovered floating in a well in Ovar “is not that of missing pregnant woman Mónica Silva” – a mother-of-two whose family has been desperately hoping for answers since October 3 last year.

The Ovar body appears to be that of 43-year-old Patrícia Simonetti, described as an immigrant who came to Portugal with her husband Thomaz Simonetti, from whom she became estranged.

According to reports, it was Thomaz who identified the body, apparently weighted down by bags full of stones, but discovered nonetheless by a local person cleaning adjacent land.

Thomaz Simonetti’s identification is not being taken as ‘official’ at this point: a police source has told Lusa that ‘medico-legal exams’ will be carried out before the body is formally identified. It is understood to have been in an ‘advanced stage of decomposition’. 

Patrícia Simonetti was last ‘seen’ on January 4 this year.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã considers that this discovery has all the hallmarks of yet another ‘violent crime’ in Portugal, in this case also a ‘macabre’ one. “The body was stomach down, dressed in overalls and had bags full of stones tied to it to make sure it didn’t float. Even so, it came to the surface”.

An autopsy will now take place to establish as much as possible how this woman died.

According to her estranged husband, she had been “acting weirdly” recently. The couple “argued” at the end of December, and were “going to get a divorce”, he told reporters.

The family of missing Mónica Silva meantime was so hopeful that this body might have been that of their loved one, that they made the considerable journey from Murtosa to Ovar, only to discover it was someone else.

Correio da Manhã has been following the drama of missing Mónica Silva since October last year. A former lover of Ms Silva, Fernando Valente, is being held under house arrest, charged with her murder – but without a body and without a confession, police have not yet got the kind of case they need for a conviction.

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