The trial of two suspects in a rape and murder case has started where the main witness for the prosecution is a parrot.
Elizabeth Toledo, 46, was raped and murdered in the city of San Fernando in the eastern Argentine region of Great Buenos Aires where she rented a room in a house with the two suspects in December 2018.
The court has heard that the decisive clue that set the police in the direction of investigating her flatmates came from her parrot.
A police officer was reportedly guarding the murder scene on 30th December while waiting for forensics experts to arrive, when he heard the parrot say: “Ay, no, Por favour, soltame!” (“No, please, let me go”).
The local news site Clarin reports that the police believe the parrot was repeating its owner’s last words as she was allegedly beaten and raped by her two housemates, and detectives then focus their attention on the two men.
The parrot was also allegedly overheard by a neighbour who heard the bird saying “why did you beat me” as one of the arrested suspects fled the house.
Based on the parrot’s comments and evidence found on the scene, including DNA evidence, two of her housemates, Miguel Saturnino Rolon, 53, and Jorge Raul Alvarez, 65, have gone on trial for aggravated sexual abuse and femicide.
Beyond the parrot’s testimony, which the head prosecutor Bibiana Santella included in the case file, DNA and dental evidence have played a key role in supporting the prosecution allegations.
A key development in the case has been the discovery of bite marks on Rolon’s forearm which dental experts say were made by the victim trying to defend herself.
Forensics found that the DNA samples that were taken from Elizabeth’s body also match Alvarez’ DNA profile.
The trial is expected to conclude later today (15th September) and if the two suspects are convicted they could be sentenced to life imprisonment.