Mexican woman’s body found in cistern after her haunting last photo went viral

·2 min read
The last known photo of the 18-year-old posted on her Instagram account  (Instagram)
The last known photo of the 18-year-old posted on her Instagram account (Instagram)

The story of the 18-year-old Mexican woman whose haunting last photograph was widely shared on social media in recent days came to a tragic end Friday after authorities say they found her decomposing body inside a subterranean water tank at a motel.

Assistant Public Safety Secretary Ricardo Mejia described Debanhi Escobar’s body as being unrecognizable, adding that authorities were only to identify the young woman based on the crucifix necklace she wore around her neck and the clothing that she had been described to be wearing on the night she went missing nearly two weeks earlier.

The 18-year-old had last been seen on the night of 8 April in Nuevo León, Mexico, when she took a cab home after partying with her friends.

The picture, which shows Escobar standing on the side of the road staring off into the distance in a skirt and high-top sneakers, was captured by her driver, who says he snapped the photo to show that the young woman did indeed get out of his car alive on 8 April on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey.

Mario Escobar, the young woman’s father, was outside the roadside motel where his daughter’s body was unearthed from a 12-foot deep water tank, which the Associated Press reported ran alongside the facility’s pool.

“My daughter is dead. I don’t know what to do,” Mr Escobar told reporters outside the crime scene. “The prosecutors didn’t do their job correctly.”

Authorities have not disclosed any theories they have as to how the young woman’s body ended up in the tank, but they did report what initially tipped them off.

“The alert was sounded by hotel workers, because of the fetid odors coming from the cistern,” Mejia confirmed to the Associated Press.

The 47-year-old driver who picked up Escobar on the night of her disappearance, a man who has only been identified with his first name, Jesus, had allegedly asked the young woman to leave his car after the pair got into an arugment.

He then allegedly left her in the middle of the road that led to the border town of Nuevo Laredo early in the morning on 9 April.

As recently as Tuesday the man had been arrested by local police for charges relating to drugs and questioning surrounding the young woman’s disappearance.

After Escobar was dropped off by the driver, who reportedly worked for a local ridesharing service, she was seen entering the site of Alcosa Transportes Internacionales, a trucking company, on surveillance footage but she was never seen exiting the site.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday the case “has caused, logically, a lot of worry, a lot of concern” among Mexicans and pledged to help prosecutors find the culprit.