Mexico City autopsy says woman slain, disputing state study

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico City prosecutors said Sunday an autopsy on a local woman found dead in the neighboring state of Morelos showed she was killed by blunt force trauma.

That contradicts a Morelos state forensic exam that suggested the woman choked on her own vomit as a result of intoxication. The contrasting studies suggest there may have been some attempt to write off her death as something other than murder.

In Mexico, women’s killings have risen in recent years and the families of many victims say police have been slow, negligent and unwilling to adequately investigate their deaths.

Mexico City prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said the new autopsy showed “several lesions caused by blows” on the body of Ariadna López, 27, and listed her cause of death as “multiple traumas.”

Some saw suggestions of police incompetence from the start. Lopez disappeared from the central Mexico City neighborhood Oct. 30. Her body was not found until days later when cyclists discovered her on a path that leads from Mexico City to neighboring Morelos state.

Her body was identified by relatives only because the cyclists took photos of the victim’s tatoos and posted them online in an attempt to help identify her.

Morelos authorities quickly took over the case and López had died of acute intoxication.

In another twist, Godoy revealed that police found a video of a man who claimed to be López’s friend carrying an inert body out of a Mexico City apartment after she disappeared. The prosecutor said traces of blood were discovered in the apartment.

The man’s girlfriend, who was allegedly with him and López that night, was arrested, while the man remains at large, Godoy said. She said the man had attended López’s funeral and demanded justice in the case.

Godoy asked Morelos state prosecutors to hand over the case to her office.

But Mexico City has its own problems with women’s killings. A young woman, Lidia Gabriela, apparently threw herself from a taxi and died on a Mexico City street Wednesday. Witnesses said Gabriela thought the taxi driver was trying to kidnap her.

Morelos state has had a particularly bad stretch of women’s killings.

On Friday, the bodies of five women were found in the Morelos city of Cuautla just south of Mexico City. The bodies were found at two different spots in the city, known as a weekend getaway for Mexico City residents.

The prosecutor in Morelos state said the killings appeared to have been carried out by a drug gang, possibly as part of some sort of dispute. Prosecutor Uriel Carmona said the bodies were found near a hand-lettered sign of the kind often used by drug gangs.

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