Mónica Silva
Mónica Silva, in much happier times. Image: Facebook

Murder suspect goes home for Christmas

Fernando Valente is suspected of killing pregnant mother of two Mónica Silva

In a very short text today, news bulletins announce that “the suspect in the murder of a pregnant woman from Murtosa, who has been missing for more than two months, will be placed under house arrest”.

So far there have been no reactions from the local people who have been massively supporting the family of missing Mónica Silva since October; helping with ground searches; joining ‘marches of solidarity’; and generally demanding justice.

All the while, the principal suspect, 39-year-old Fernando Valente has insisted on his innocence – and there is no tangible evidence against him.

In spite of all the searches, and following up of leads, there remains no trace of Mónica Silva since the final phone call she made to her young son to say she would be home shortly.

Fernando Valente’s conditions for release from preventive custody – decreed by the presiding judge of Aveiro district court – are to remain in the home he shares with his parents, subject to surveillance using technical means of remote control, writes Lusa.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã has been covering this mystery for weeks now.

Today it reports that “dozens of people” took part in a march yesterday, in homage to missing Mónica- The march began on the land where searches have taken place and ended at the florists owned by the suspect’s mother.

Mónica’s twin sister Sara explained: “We want to ask the Valente family to tell us where Mónica’s body is. There is no Christmas without my sister”.

As Mónica’s mother Filomena told the paper: “It is almost three months now. That is too long. We cannot endure this kind of suffering”.

These were comments made before the news that the man Mónica’s family believe killed her is going home for Christmas, essentially because there is no proof to back the charges of aggravated homicide, desecration of a corpse and aggravated abortion.

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