TWO AUTOPSIES on the body of Mari Luz Cortés, found on Thursday in Ria del Tinto, Huelva, have proved inconclusive in determining if the five-year-old girl died as a result of an accident or if she was a victim of a crime.
The Spanish girl, who went missing on January 13 near the family home in Huelva, is thought to have died of asphyxia but an accident has not been ruled out by Spanish police.
The forensic analysis concluded that Mari Luz died during the first 48 hours following her disappearance but police sources quoted by daily newspapers say they are now trying to determine if the body was dumped in the river after her death.
The scenario of her getting in the river on her own is considered unlikely by the police, as the river is located more than a kilometre from the area where she was living.
Also, to reach the river, Mari Luz would have had to cross a main road, which would not be easy for a five-year-old girl.
Members of the Cortés family, who are convinced that Mari Luz was murdered, asked for a second autopsy but all the information about the results of both examinations is to remain secret while the investigation goes on.
On Wednesday, Spanish police were still carrying out searches in the area where the body was found after being alerted by the crew of a commercial boat which was on the Tinto river.
At Mari Luz’s funeral, on Monday, hundreds of people attended in a public expression of solidarity towards the family.
Governor’s ‘deep sorrow’
FARO CIVIL Governor Isilda Gomes has expressed her ‘deep sorrow’ for the circumstances surrounding the death of Mari Luz Cortés.
In a statement, Isilda Gomes says she “deeply regrets the painful loss to the Cortés family” and “shares the suffering of the parents of Mari Luz as well as the pain of all people who suffer similar dramas”.
The governor had received the Cortés family on Thursday, March 6, to express her support and to organise solidarity events in the Algarve for the coming weeks. All actions were already cancelled.
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