Almost four months after Cecilia Strzyzowski disappeared in Chaco, hopes are fading that remains of her body will ever be identified.
Forensic experts underlined this week that “given the extensive degree of charring, it is highly unlikley to retrieve genetic information from the skeletal remains” found at the Tragadero River, in Chaco, to establish whether they belong to the presumably murdered young woman.
“I also deem it unlikely for other labs to obtain reportable results with such bone material,” stressed Carlos María Vullo, speaking from 20 years of experience, in a letter to prosecutor Nelia Yael Velázquez who had required additional information.
“The 16 envelopes with bone samples received by the forensic genetic laboratory were processed with the strictest genetic extraction, quantification, amplification and analysis according to our protocols under the ISO 17025 standard. A further 12 of the elements with the best macroscopic appearance to retrieve genetic information were tested”, the letter explained.
“However, it was not possible to obtain any quantifiable genetic material”.
That conclusion had already been anticipated to investigators, but the special prosecution unit required further testing.
“Strict mitochondrial DNA amplification protocols were run without any reportable results”, the letter reiterated.
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 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.