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In the Media

article imageMother of 12-year-old girl found dead near Santiago is arrested

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By Anne Sewell
Sep 25, 2013 in Crime
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Santiago De Compostela - A 12-year-old girl was found dead in a woodland outside Santiago de Compostela on Sunday. Her adopted mother, Rosario Porto Ortego has now been arrested as police want to clarify her initial statement.
Digital Journal reported on the story of the discovery by walkers of the body of the 12-year-old girl at around 1:30am on Sunday.
At that stage, available information was sketchy, and police officials strongly suspected that the girl had died in a different scenario than that in which her body was found. Preliminary investigations show the cause of death to be asphyxiation.
La Voz de Galicia reports (in Spanish) that after further investigation, and according to police sources, the Civil Guard has arrested the mother of the girl, Rosario Porto Ortega. The 12-year-old girl has now been named as Asunta.
Porto, a lawyer, was taken into custody at the Civil Guard headquarters in A Coruña.
Sources continued that she was being held so that officials could question certain incongruities in the initial statement she gave to investigators.
Porto had reportedly told police detectives in Santiago de Compostela that a man had broken into her downtown apartment in mid-July, while her daughter was sleeping. She said that she never filed a report with the police about the incident.
When asked why, she said she didn't want to cause her daughter any distress, although she did admit that Asunta had sensed an intruder in the apartment and had screamed.
Porto said:
“At about 2.30am I heard my daughter cry out and I got out of bed and saw a man, about 5’ 3” tall, a strong complexion, wearing dark clothing and latex gloves and running away down the hallway.”
Porto added that the break-in was probably due to her having accidentally left her keys in the door.
She did not mention if she had later had the locks changed and no connection between this story and the death of the girl was mentioned in the media.
The arrest of the mother, Porto, on Tuesday morning came as a shock to those close to her.
The news of the arrest emerged shortly after her daughter had been cremated at a private service.
Tareixa Navaza, a spokesman for the family, told the media that he was surprised by the news. He said he had seen Porto leave with no police presence.
A funeral service for Asunta will be held at 8.30pm Tuesday at a church near the family home in Santiago de Compostela.
El Mundo reports (Spanish language) that Porto adopted Asunta 12 years ago with her then-husband, journalist Alfonso Basterra. The girl, of Chinese origin, came into their lives at less than a year old, and there are many testimonies of those who said the family "radiated happiness."
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