Prosecutors investigating the disappearance of Cecilia Strzyzowski in Chaco Province said Thursday that a major breakthrough had been made in the case, confirming that traces of the missing 28-year-old’s blood had been found at the Sena family home.
Strzyzowski 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 Emerenciano Sena and 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 bloodstains on items seized during raids on the property by the National Gendarmerie (Border Guard) on June 24 have now revealed that the DNA found was Strzyzowski, judicial sources confirmed on Thursday. The samples match blood samples provided by Gloria Romero, the victim's mother, as well as her sister.
A forensic report detailing the discovery, confirmed by the Instituto de Medicina y Ciencias Forenses de Chaco, has been filed with the prosecutor’s office, said the sources.
The discovery supports the prosecution’s hypothesis that Strzyzowski was the victim of a femicide and was killed at the home of her in-laws. Sources say investigators believe they have undercovered a key part of evidence.
Traces of blood were found on both a mattress and a piece of furniture. Prosecutors have been told that the Sena family had attempted to donate the items in question in the days leading up the raid.
The blood-stained items were not discovered during an initial raid of the property but were found after a second more thorough search, according to reports.
Border Guards also uncovered a purse and rucksack, which had been burnt. Prosecutors are attempting to confirm if the items belonged to Cecilia.
Prosecutors are awaiting the DNA results of tests carried out on bone fragments found in a canal and river that they believe belong to the victim.
Investigators are working under the hypothesis that Strzyzowski has been the victim of a femicide.
Her 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.
In total, seven people have been arrested on suspicion of playing a role in Cecilia’s killing. 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. Thousands of chaqueños have taken to the streets in recent weeks to demand justice and the truth.
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 PASO. The provincial strongman will seek re-election in elections in September.