French tourist who died in Buenos Aires police station succumbed to heart condition

The 77-year-old collapsed while reporting the theft of his backpack near Retiro bus station

Retiro bus station. Image: Buenos Aires City government

The French tourist who died on Thursday in a Buenos Aires police station after his backpack was stolen near the bus terminal suffered a “sudden death” due to a heart condition, an autopsy has found.

The Forensic Medical Corps’ judicial morgue team, who conducted the autopsy on 77-year-old Andrés René Mateier on Friday morning, reported that the head injury he sustained when he collapsed and hit his head at the police station on Thursday was not serious enough to have caused his death.

Prosecutor Adrián Pérès is trying to determine whether Mateier’s death was natural or if he suffered any injuries during the robbery. He is also trying to identify the thief.

According to investigators, the assault took place near Retiro bus terminal. Mateier, who was with his wife, was surprised by a thief who snatched his backpack.

“The couple then entered the terminal to seek help and find a police officer, who accompanied them to the police station to file a report,” a judicial source said.

Inside the police station, he suddenly became unwell and fell to the floor. He hit and injured his head in the fall.

The officers in the station called an ambulance, and the paramedics confirmed Mateier’s death.

“We have not yet seen the surveillance cameras inside the police station that would confirm the sequence of events and the condition the man was in when he arrived, but two witnesses who saw him just collapse have already given statements,” said the judicial spokesperson.

Prosecutor Pérès has been waiting for Mateier’s wife, who was in shock, to be fit to provide a statement. After the incident, she was assisted by City Police psychologists, and the Tourist Police was called to the station to provide an interpreter.

The couple’s daughter, who lives in Buenos Aires, went to the police station yesterday to support her mother, the sources added.



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