A young man has been sentenced to life for raping, killing and dismembering an 18-year-old woman.
Alfredo Emilio Escobar, 29, was found guilty of killing Laura Cielo Lopez, 18, in September 2019.
The court in the western Argentine city of Neuquen sentenced him to life in prison on 16th December.
The crime took place in the early hours of 13th September 2019, when Escobar reportedly went to pick the victim up from her home in the city of Plottier in Neuquen Province.
The pair travelled some 20 blocks to Escobar’s house where she was raped and killed.
According to prosecutor Juan Agustin Garcia, Escobar killed Cielo Lopez in the belief that he would get away with both the rape and the murder.
Garcia told local media: “He attacked her physically with an object to the head, which caused her agonising death two to four hours later.”
Escobar then reportedly dismembered her body before carrying her remains to a rural area and dumping them in the Limay River.
The victim’s remains were found two days later by fishermen who immediately called the police.
Escobar was arrested four days later. He reportedly tried to pin the blame on a friend who had sold him cocaine.
He told local media: “I was high that night. I admit I’m guilty of cleaning up the blood, of disposal, but I didn’t kill her.”
The nature of the relationship between the pair and whether they had known each other for long is unclear.
The Neuquen provincial government has since passed the ‘Cielo Lopez Law’ that aims to prevent violence against women. It decrees mandatory education on the topic of gender violence to students and teachers of all ages.
The family’s lawyer Marcelo Henriksen Velazco told local media: “Fortunately, he didn’t go unpunished, and a life sentence gives us peace of mind in the community and to the family, but it doesn’t bring the victim back to life.”
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