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ARGENTINA | 30-04-2024 17:26

Investigation shelved: The death of Natacha Jaitt

Despite claims of conspiracy and alleged murder, the case investigating the death of socialite Natacha Jaitt in 2019 has been shelved. But there are still doubts about the day she died.

Like a contemporary Nostradamus, during her final years, socialite and TV celebrity Natacha Jaitt foreshadowed, one by one, many of the scandals which would come to shake public opinion in Argentina. 

Her Twitter (today X) account was a veritable online court, where she denounced people and almost nobody believed her. She wrote about a paedophile ring at Telefe television network and years later allegations against Marcelo Corazza came to light; she mentioned alleged embezzlement by Martín Insaurralde and Jéssica Cirio, which was exposed in last year's election campaign; she even predicted her own death on April 5, 2018, in a memorable tweet which read: “I’m not killing myself, I’m not overdosing…”.

Months later, specifically on February 23, 2019, the model showed up dead. Her body was found unresponsive after a work meeting she attended together with her friend, Raúl Velaztiqui Duarte, and businessman Gonzalo Rigoni, among others. They had met earlier that night at the Xanadú event hall, in Villa La Ñata, Tigre, Buenos Aires Province.

After her death, an investigation was opened. It ran until earlier this month, when a court in San Isidro, following a petition from prosecutors Martín Otero and Lida Osores Soler, decided to shelve the case, concluding that no third party was involved.

Jaitt’s relatives reject the decision and have called for the probe to be reopened. 

 

No overdose?

Jaitt’s body was found naked on a bed at the Xanadú party salon in Tigre, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires City. The result of her autopsy concluded that the 41-year-old model died of multi-organ failure which led to a cardiopulmonary collapse. 

Tests also informed that her body carried no signs of aggression, no defence wounds, or signs of rape. Traces of cocaine were found in her nostrils, although the hypothesis of an overdose was ruled out.

Consulted by Noticias magazine, the late star’s brother Ulises Jaitt expressed his anger over the actions of the Prosecutor General’s Office in San Isidro and cast doubt over details in the autopsy.

“The medical examiner’s report says that the autopsy test informing of her chronic heart disease is not in keeping with her tests from 90 days previous, where that wasn’t mentioned. That test is signed by a cardiologist from the Tornú hospital, which makes it official,” he said.

Going deeper, he added: “The same doctor who found a lot of cocaine in her nostrils, compatible with an involuntary inhalation, meaning that once she once was unconscious, [it was possible] she was given more, so that while breathing she would continue to sniff until she died.” 

Yet the autopsy says that “it is not plausible that Jaitt was given cocaine while unconscious,” Ulises added. “My doctor says that the amount found could only have been introduced.”

 

Focus on Rigoni

Rigoni was the last man to see Jaitt alive. The 50-year-old is the owner of the Xanadú event hall and has a company called Conoflex which is a supplier to the national government of flexible yellow traffic cones.

According to sources who were close to the late media personality, the courts refused to investigate Rigoni and set their sights on Velaztiqui Duarte for bearing false witness. He was swiftly acquitted. 

Velaztiqui Duarte, who witnessed the meeting with the businessman, says there was “no plot” to kill Natacha, though he still has questions.

“There was no plot to kill Natacha because we went to a meeting with someone we did not know,” he told Noticias

“We found out that, at the same spot, there had just been a party with pimps and drugs, federal crimes which the courts never deigned to investigate,” he added. 

“I was there waiting for the Police and the ambulance for a few minutes. The strange thing was that first the Police arrived, checked her and once one of the officers said on his walkie-talkie: ‘She’s dead.’ Then, the ambulance immediately arrived. You know what I mean?” recalled Velaztiqui Duarte.

Ulises Jaitt is unshakable in his beliefs: “With my lawyers we asked them to investigate Rigoni and nothing. I’m convinced [he was involved] … but the courts are not at all suspicious. He tampered with the scene of the crime by taking the bottle from the room and taking three glasses, when there were two of them. So what was in the third glass?”

Ulises describes the businessman as “very dangerous.”

“He has connections all over the country and apparently, he used them because it’s not logical that he hasn’t even been investigated,” argued the dead star’s brother. “The thing is if they arrest him and he talks, he has to tell them who came up with the murder and that would definitely be a mess.”

Natacha’s former lawyer, Alejandro Cipolla, said: “I never understood why Rigoni was not indicted. It was all wrong in that case, from expert examinations of the place which were then changed to ignoring the involvement of many of those present at the event.” 

“With my lawyer, Yamil Castro Bianchi, we’ll put together a team of lawyers, because we’re fighting ghosts. We’ll reopen the case in another jurisdiction because otherwise it would be like going back to the lion’s den,” said Ulises, who has vowed to fight the decision to the end.

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Mariano Casas Di Nardo

Mariano Casas Di Nardo

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