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Law student whose body was found in motel water tank suffocated, Mexican officials say

Protests in Monterrey after Debanhi Escobar's death
A woman holds a bounty poster following the death of Debanhi Escobar, an 18-year-old law student, during an April 22, 2022 protest amid the disappearance of women in Monterrey, Mexico, in the state of Nuevo León on April 9 Was. ,

Stringer / Reuters


Mexico City – Investigators said Monday that another autopsy of a young woman whose mysterious death has shocked Mexico has revealed she died of suffocation due to “obstruction of the airways”.

The autopsy results did not specify what caused his nose and mouth to be blocked. 18 year old Debanhi Escobar was Found dead in a partially filled underground water holding tank of a motel in April Near the northern city of Monterey.

The head of Mexico City’s forensic service, Dr. Felipe Takazashi, said the latest autopsy on the woman’s exhumed body showed no signs of sexual violence. He died three to five days before the body was found, they said.

Escobar’s remains were found days after exiting a taxi on a dark highway.

The matter came into limelight due to a haunting picture taken by the driver who was supposed to take her home that night. The driver said she got out of the car of her own free will, adding that she took the photo to prove she was alive when she left him.

This photo touched hearts across Mexico: a young woman standing alone at night wearing a skirt and high-top sneakers on a highway. The image seems to speak of the woman’s tremendous vulnerability, and self-assurance – or desperation.

She quickly became a symbol of an outraged women’s rights movement in Mexico, where about 10 women are murdered every day, Agence France-Presse observed. His death sparked many demonstrations.

Protests Against Gender Violence After Debanhi Escobar's Murder
Women take part in a protest demanding justice for Debanhi Escobar and thousands of victims of gender-based violence in Mexico City on April 24, 2022.

Louis Barron / iPix Group / Future Publishing via Getty Images


Officials decided that an excavation was necessary after two preliminary studies had differing results.

The chief medical examiner of Nuevo León state initially said Escobar had died of a head injury, but apparently she was alive when she entered the tank and had no water in her lungs.

But another forensic analysis of the original autopsy requested by Escobar’s family concluded that she had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

Her father, Mario Escobar, has said prosecutors told him that surveillance camera footage showed the driver inappropriately touched his daughter.

According to AFP, following the latest findings, he said it was clear his daughter was murdered.

“My daughter didn’t die by mistake, that’s my hypothesis,” AFP told AFP. But he is still waiting for the results of other tests being conducted in England.

The matter is shrouded in mystery. Parts of the motel had been searched several times before the body was found after a motel employee reported foul smell emanating from the tank.

Video from the motel’s security cameras shows Escobar had entered the motel and wandered around, eventually following the camera in the direction where three pools are located near a swimming pool.

Some reports suggested that the woman may have fallen into a pool and accidentally died. Prosecutors said her body was found in one tank, her handbag in another, and her cell phone and keys in a third tank.

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