A 21-month-old baby girl named Martina has been found alive in a sewer in Argentina after being trapped down there with her murdered mother.
Martina’s father, Gonzalo Lizarralde, is accused of leaving her for dead because he couldn’t bring himself to kill her subsequent to stabbing his ex, Paola Acosta, to death.
“The person who killed Paola didn’t have the courage to kill the little girl. He must have thought she was going to die from the fall,” explained one investigating officer.
When the mother and daughter were reported missing on Wednesday by Paola’s two teenage sons, police were in a frenzy to find them. Allegedly, Lizarralde paid them a visit after taking a paternity test and learning that Martina was his daughter. That’s when they disappeared.
It wasn’t until a bakery worker saw Martina’s legs while he was cleaning up shop that anyone knew of their whereabouts.
“He lifted the manhole cover up with the help of some neighbours and discovered her staring up at him with an innocent look as if looking for help,” Miguel Oliva, head of Cordoba CID, told the Mirror.
It has been reported that she was stuck in the sewer with her mother’s corpse for about 80 hours.
“She was lying on top of her mummy when she was found. We think that gave her some protection from the cold and may have saved her life. She was surrounded by filthy water and was wet all the time because of the recent rain we’ve had which complicated things even more for her,” said Ricardo Manzur, a doctor at the children’s hospital where Martina was taken.
Police named Lizarralde an official suspect when they found his ex’s blood inside his van, which was used to kidnap them both.
Martina is suffering from a fractured leg and pneumonia, and is being evaluated further to get an idea of her condition.
“We are staying strong for Martina but our pain is immense,” said one of the girl’s relatives.