President Alberto Fernández has spoken with the mother of missing 22-year-old Facundo Astudillo Castro, reportedly promising that he will not allow the “case to go unpunished.”
Castro, who has been missing since April, was last seen at a police checkpoint in Buenos Aires Province after having been stopped for breaking the coronavirus quarantine.
Investigators searching for his whereabouts found a body on Saturday evening, more than 100 days after the youth went missing. The corpse has yet to be identified, though officials said an autopsy would begin on the body on Tuesday.
Speaking to the TN news channel, Cristina Castro revealed that President Fernández had contacted her after the discovery of the body, as had Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof.
The missing man’s mother said that the Peronist leader had informed her he was “praying that the remains are not Facu’s” and promised there would be “no cover up.” He also offered her assistance to ensure she could travel to the location where the body was found in Villarino.
Both Fernández and Kicillof have been in contact with Cristina Castro since he went missing in April. Officials said both leaders wanted to reiterate their offers of support to her in the search for her missing son.
The family of the missing 22-year-old have been fiercely critical of the investigation to date, alleging that members of the Buenos Aires Province police force may have been involved in his alleged disappearance.
Further details about the discovered body emerged on Monday, which was reportedly found in a “wild” wetland area with crabs in a heavily decayed form. A shoe, which the mother has said could be Facundo’s, was found around 30 metres away, close to Ruta Nacional 3.
According to police sources quoted by Perfil, the remains are “skeletal” and would appear to be "at least 90 days old." It was found unclothed and at least one source said it was impossible to tell with the naked eye whether “it is Facundo.”
Judicial sources said at least four investigators from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), which began working on the case earlier this month, arrived to begin work on identifying the body. Officials said it was removed from the site on Monday and transferred to Buenos Aires City.
An autopsy will be carried out at the EAAF’s laboratory, located on the premises of the ex-ESMA Navy Mechanics School in the capital, starting on Tuesday.
Coroner Virginia Creimer, who will act as an expert on behalf of the family, said that the results of DNA studies to determine the identity of the body would only be known after a period of between 30 and 60 days.
"It is going to be an extremely complex analysis due to the general characteristics in which the body has been found," she told the local AM 550 radio station.
She said that since they are “skeletal remains,” a bone decalcification procedure will be carried out to look for traces of DNA, which "will take time."