BUENOS AIRES – A married couple of Bolivian nationality was arrested in the town of Merlo in the central Argentine province of San Luis, accused of killing their 8-month-old daughter and burying her in a vacant lot, police said Tuesday.
The husband and wife, both age 18 and identified as Pastor Avendaño Choquevillca and Dionisia Panozzo Sejas, reported last Sunday that two men and a woman had kidnapped their baby, the head of police relations in San Luis, inspector Carlos Pereyra, told the official news agency Telam.
“Even as they reported it they began contradicting themselves in a way typical of a fabrication. Minutes later they agreed that the baby had died at home,” Pereyra said.
The father confessed to investigators that he tried to stop his daughter from crying by covering her with a quilt, and forensic experts confirmed that the baby died of suffocation.
According to the couple’s account, when they realized that the baby had stopped breathing, they decided to bury her in a nearby vacant lot.
“During the visual inspection made yesterday afternoon in the house where the couple lived, bedclothes and other elements like a backpack were confiscated, along with the baby’s medical history and a knife, an item that could have been used by the couple to bury the body,” Pereyra said.
The couple, who have been living approximately one month in Merlo, are being held in custody at the local police station previous to being handed over to the judiciary.