Prosecutors in Argentina have charged a motorist with murder after he dragged his girlfriend’s daughter more than 50 yards down a gravel road with his pickup truck.
The horror unfolded in the city of Neuquen on 19th March when suspect Luis Hernan Cortes Castro went to pick up his partner in his Toyota Hilux.
The charge sheet says that “after the woman got into the vehicle to leave, the girl came out of the house and stood at the side of the pickup truck, asking them not to leave and apparently holding onto the vehicle”.
Then, “the driver started and drove for about 50 metres”, causing “the girl to fall from the vehicle and hit her head against the gravel of the street”.
Then, “after the girl fell, the accused and the woman did not notice what had happened and continued driving”.
Then, “neighbours saw the girl lying on the gravel and notified her relatives, who called her mother on the phone”.
The couple returned in the pickup truck and drove 10-year-old Valentina to a nearby hospital, where she died hours later from a fractured skull.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Neuquen Province concluded on 22nd March that Cortes Castro is guilty of manslaughter aggravated by reckless driving of a vehicle.
He has not been arrested, but prosecutors have demanded that he present himself at the Judicial Branch weekly.
He is also forbidden to approach witnesses, the crime scene, or the victim’s family.
Valentina’s grieving aunt, Elisa, told local media: “We could already see it coming because previously, Valentina’s mum’s partner had allegedly accidentally stepped on the girl’s foot.
“What we know is that he was bothered by Ruth’s children.”
The investigation is ongoing and must be completed within four months.