“I identified in detail my daughter’s body”: Ernestina Enriquez

By Guadalupe Lizarraga/Reporter

LOS ANGELES.- “I want to think that my daughter was murdered the same day she was kidnapped”, said Ernestina Enriquez, who found out on Facebook that her daughter’s body was lying at the Coroner’s Office in Ciudad Juarez since 2008.

The Mexican authorities denied the same day that they had the body of Adriana Sarmiento Enriquez, even though the information was published by Los Angeles Press earlier that day. However, it was until the end of the day, that the State Attorney’s Office confirmed to Ernestina Enriquez that they had in their possession the body of her daughter who was 15 years old when she was kidnapped returning from school on January 18, 2008.

Ernestina said that the authorities gave her daughter’s clothes she was wearing the day she disappeared. At the beginning, the Attorney General Representative wanted to show her only pictures of Adriana’s belongings, but Ernestina refused to that and demanded her right to identify every detail of her daughter’s belongings and her bones. “I identified her long and fluffy hair as she used to bring it. She still had the pony tails that she always used. She did not have her teeth or her fingernails, but her finger bones were complete”.

Ernestina was surprised when she found her daughter’s favorite nail polish in one of her toenails. “After all this time, the color of her nail polish did not fade”. She was wearing the same pants and blouse of the school uniform that her daughter wore the last day she saw her for the last time. “That is why, I think she was murdered the same day that she was kidnapped”, said Ernestina. The detailed description that Adriana’s mother gave of her remains stated that she was not mutilated it however there is not sign of what kind of torture she was subjected to.

“They have the bodies, Why don’t turn them over to their families?

The body of Adriana Sarmiento was found in the town of San Agustin, in the Valle de Juarez, according to the information the police gave Ernestina Enriquez. They told her that her body was semi-buried and someone from the town saw her when he was passing by a road, near the cemetery. They say that the person “saw the skull out of the earth” and phoned the authorities.

This day was November 5, 2009 according to the official statement. When the body was moved to the Coroner’s office in Ciudad Juarez, they kept it until November 30, 2011, the same day that the victim’s mother discovered the truth and demanded to be turned to her. The DNA test was in July of 2011, said the forensic anthropologist, but Ernestina said that she submitted the DNA test on April of same year.

Ernestina also received information “mid-2009”, without being officially confirmed, that her daughter was a prostitute along with other girls that were reported also missing. Today she learned that the information that was provided to her was false and it did not corresponded with the characteristics of the remains that she received. By then, there might be indication that the Attorney General may have had the body lying in the Coroner’s office, but her identity was still not confirmed.

The authorities also told Ernestina that they found phone numbers from Mexico City in Adriana’s cellular. This finding led them to travel, including contacting some members of the media, to investigate possible sexual routes that point nearby cities to Mexico City, like Puebla and Tlaxcala.

“It’s not fair, Guadalupe, it’s not fair”, cried Ernestina, “They were making fool of themselves if they had my daughter already”. The mother said that she insisted to the authorities in 2009 that if they have her daughter’s body give it to her. “See what they have done to me!” she continues “I have been a subject of humiliation, false hopes. And now see how they gave me her body”.

A high risk case dismissed

The case of Adriana Sarmiento was listed by the authorities as “trafficking for sexual exploitation” and a “high risk” because she was underage. This information surprised her mother, because they told her that “she had to be careful with what she said and not to hinder the investigation”.

They looked for Adriana, she said, the following month of her disappearance in 2008. After that, everything was a lie. Even Ernestina was surprised on those days that her daughter’s disappearance, her case attracted too much attention of the local police and other authorities that got involved in the case. They published pictures and distributed information about her disappearance”. But everything they did was in vain, her daughter -this is what she thinks-, was already death and buried the same day that they took her.

What we don’t know if this young woman was murdered in the same place where she was found or if her body was moved to that place. The authorities did not disclose to Ernestina the forensic analysis, if they did one, were they can establish time of death. The forensic anthropology told the media that Adriana was murdered more than a year ago after her body was found.

Some Entomology studies suggest that the type of small insects can determine the precise date and circumstances around the murdered victim. Those are important facts when the police investigate homicides. In the case of Adriana Sarmiento, she still had hair in the skull and some skin in her body and toenails in her feet that her mother recognized because of the nail polish. There is a suggestion, according to the studies, that she had less than a year buried because of the body decomposition. But that only the forensic authorities may know.

Ernestina said that now the authorities treat her very well, “like a queen”, they are very kind and taking care of the funeral expenses. Ernestina said that even with sadness and mad, asked the forensic anthropologist if they have more bodies in the morgue, but she said there are none. “We don’t have more. Only men remain”.

Translation by Bertha del Rivero

Audio interview

[haiku url=”http://www.losangelespress.dreamhosters.com/wp-content/uploads/ernestina1.mp3″ title=”Fragmento 2 de entrevista a Ernestina Enriquez”]

[haiku url=”http://www.losangelespress.dreamhosters.com/wp-content/uploads/ernestina2.mp3″ title=”Fragmento 2 de entrevista a Ernestina Enriquez”]

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