Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
Mexican teen Debanhi Escobar was sexually abused and killed after she suddenly vanished on ‘Death Road’ last month, according to a second autopsy requested by her family.
Debanhi disappeared on the stretch of road that leads into the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, on the border with the US, at around 5am on 9th April.
The Mexican 18-year-old went missing after being abandoned by her cab share ride on the road notorious for killings. In 2021, 77 people disappeared on ‘Death Road’ where Debanhi was last seen.
Heartbreaking images of the teen alone at the roadside were seen all around the world. Her body was found in a hotel cistern two weeks later.
She had been on a night out with two friends when she got into a rideshare cab with a driver the group trusted, identified only by his first name Jesus, 47.
He abandoned her by the side of the road for reasons still unclear, although it is believed the pair became embroiled in a row.
After a 13-day search, her father Mario Escobar confirmed that his daughter was found in the cistern of the disused Nueva Castilla Motel, a few metres from where she disappeared.
The victim’s body was found in one tank, her bag in another, and her phone and keys in a third.
CCTV cameras filmed Debanhi entering the site of the trucking company Alcosa Transportes Internacionales just after the cabbie left her stranded.
Her body was found in the motel cistern nearby, between 300 and 500 metres from where she was photographed on the side of the road.
Attorney general Gustavo Adolfo Guerrero said: “The last known image of Debanhi (at 4.56am) is the one where she is seen walking towards the area where the cistern is located.”
News of the teenager’s disappearance gripped Mexico after the eerie photo of her standing by the roadside after getting out of the taxi was widely shared by local media.
The photo was reportedly taken by the cab driver and was sent to the victim’s friends when they asked him about her whereabouts.
Following a forensic report requested by the victim’s family, it has been confirmed that the teenager was sexually abused and murdered, according to local media.
The report apparently contradicts the position of the Nuevo Leon Prosecutor’s Office, who have refused to publicly state that the victim’s traumatic head injuries were caused by a suspected killer.
However, the latest report said the teen was struck on the head several times with a “blunt object” and was dead before being dropped in the tank.
The report concluded that it was a “violent homicidal death”, adding: “The craniofacial contusions are of external origin to the body and because they are intense, repeated and with different angles of impact, it follows that they were caused by another person.”
The second autopsy also said that the body showed signs of a “vaginal, violent and recent sexual relationship”, explaining: “This is deduced from having found violaceous ecchymosis and hematomas [bruising]” in the outer area of the victim’s genitals.
According to local media, the Prosecutor’s Office has added the latest report to the investigation
Until now, prosecutors have only spoken public about the traumatic head injury with no details about whether it was caused by falling into the tank or by a possible killer.
The victim’s father requested the second autopsy, dated 25th April, and handed it over to investigators.
The report also ruled out strangulation or suffocation as possible causes of death as there were no other injuries beside the head trauma.
Mario Escobar has always maintained that his daughter was “murdered” and publicly criticised the implication that she could have died of accidental causes.
No one has been arrested yet as the investigation continues.