Story By: Angjela Trajkovska, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN
A young mother is fighting for her life after her boyfriend allegedly set her on fire and then tried to drown her after she jumped in a swimming pool to put out the flames.
Leonel Maximiliano Barrios, 23, is accused of carrying out the horrific attack on Rocio Micaela Cortes, 24, after a row in the Argentinian capital city of Buenos Aires.
Police say Barrios sprayed the pretty brunette with what is believed to have been medical alcohol and set her alight at the house of her aunt, Maria Cortes, where they were living temporarily.
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Ms Cortes ran outside in flames and jumped into a mini-swimming pool to try to extinguish the fire but Barrios allegedly jumped in after her and tried to drown her.
Fortunately, Ms Cortes’s aunt had seen her run outside. Members of the family ran to the pool and pulled the young woman from the water as Barrios fled the scene in his Fiat Duna car.
Ms Cortes was rushed by ambulance to hospital where doctors are treating her for 50 percent burns. Her condition is described as critical.
Police arrested Barrios after catching up with him at the home of his uncle, Oscar Gregorio Benitez, where he was reportedly preparing to leave the area. He faces charges of attempted murder.
Ms Cortes, the victim’s aunt, said the couple were constantly fighting and that she had heard them arguing on the morning of the attack before seeing her niece run outside in flames.
The victim’s mother, Roxana Cortes, said Barrios had previously beaten up her daughter in front of her three-year-old son, whose name has not been released, from a previous relationship.
She added: “He threatened he would harm the child if she left him. He beat her, left her with black eyes, beat her over the head with a pan. And he hit her in the mouth with a mobile phone.”