An expert report conducted as part of the investigation into the alleged murder of Cecilia Strzyzowski in Resistencia, in the northern province of Chaco, has concluded that bones believed to belong to the victim were burnt for at least three hours before being dumped in a river nearby to where she was last seen.
The report, conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine of Córdoba and quoted in the Diario Chaco news portal, said that the bones found at the Tragadero River in Resistencia were "completely skeletonised" and "there is no trace of soft tissue.” No identity could be traced for the bones because of the impossibility of obtaining reliable DNA samples, it adds.
"The vast majority of them [the skeletal remains] are completely charred and only very few are charred," concluded the analysis by forensic specialists, who explained that to reach the point of charring it is necessary for bones to burn at temperatures of over 800 degrees.
The report has been sent to the specialist team of prosecutors working on the case, Jorge Cáceres Olivera, Nelia Velázquez and Jorge Gómez. They believe the bones belonged to the victim.
Strzyzowski, 28, was last seen by her family on June 1 but security camera footage from the following day shows her entering a property in Resistencia owned by influential local picket leader Emerenciano Sena and politician Marcela Acuña, the parents of her husband, César Sena. There are no images of her departing the property and investigators believed she was killed there.
Forensic examinations of bloodstained items seized during raids on the property by the National Gendarmerie (Border Guard) back in June revealed traces of Strzyzowski’s DNA.
Investigators are working under the hypothesis that Strzyzowski was the victim of a femicide.
Seven people are currently being held in custody in relation to the investigation.
The victim’s husband, César Sena, 19, is currently under arrest, accused of being the perpetrator of the crime. The young man's parents, Emerenciano Sena and Marcela Acuña, have been charged as “necessary” participants in the alleged murder.
The other four are Fabiana González, Gustavo Obregón, Gustavo Melgarejo and Griselda Reynoso – all assistants of the picket leader.
Local residents have been outraged by the turn of events. The case generated a large number of demonstrations in Chaco, most of them led by Gloria Romero, the victim's mother.
The woman's disappearance has also dealt a political blow to Peronist Governor Jorge Capitanich, who saw the opposition surpass his vote total in the regional PASO primary for governor. The provincial strongman, who will seek re-election later this month, is in danger of being voted out of office.