The seven accused of the femicide of 28-year-old Cecilia Strzyzowski, who was last seen on June 2 in the Chaco city of Resistencia, were indicted on Thursday with pre-trial detention. Chaco’s Special Prosecutorial Team (EFE) considered three of them as perpetrators and four as accomplices, and that the crime took place the same day of her disappearance and within an “unequal relationship of power and economic dependence.”
The accused are Cecilia’s 19-year-old husband César Sena, who is charged with being the perpetrator; his parents Emerenciano Sena (59) and Marcela Acuña (51), who are considered co-perpetrators; driver José Gustavo Obregón (42), his wife Fabiana González (36), the landlord of the main suspects’ farm; Gustavo Melgarejo (29), and his partner Griselda Reinoso (42), who were accused of “aggravated cover-up” of the crime.
At a press conference, EFE prosecutors Jorge Cáceres Olivera, Nelia Velásquez, and Jorge Gómezlisted listed evidence that led them to indict all the accused, including the discovery of “skull remains” in the Tragadero River next to the Senas’ pigsty, a false trip to Ushuaia with which they tricked Cecilia into going to their house, where she is believed to have been murdered, and security camera footage of all the suspects.
On Friday, the prosecutors revealed even more information they considered crucial for issuing the pre-trial detentions, such as César Sena’s Internet searches. These include “what happens to the soul of a loved one who dies violently,” “violent deaths what happens to the soul,” “souls of murdered people,” “mind of a murderer” and “does a murderer feels remorse?.” An anonymous witness also provided evidence showing Cecilia was scared of her husband, since she considered him to be “violent.”
The crime caused political upheaval in Chaco, as the Senas are close to Chaco’s governor Jorge Capitanich. Emerenciano Sena’s foundation, called Saúl Acuña, built a neighborhood for low-income families with provincial funding during Capitanich’s first term. Emerenciano and his wife were also candidates for Capitanich’s Frente Chaqueño for this month’s primary elections but were removed from the ballot after suspicion of their role in Cecilia’s disappearance grew.
The case may have had an effect on the provincial election’s results on Sunday 18, where the opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) was the most voted.
On Wednesday, Capitanich said he supported Cecilia’s mother’s claim for justice, and denied having spoken with Emerenciano Sena recently, as some media outlets published.
According to prosecutors, César Sena and his parents devised a plan to kill Cecilia, deceiving her by saying she would travel with César to the city of Ushuaia where they would have a house and three jobs.
The prosecutors said they proved that César and Cecilia entered his parents’ home in Resistencia on June 2, at 9:16 a.m. Between 12:13 and 1:01 p.m., Emerenciano Sena, Marcela Acuña, and César Sena killed the victim. In the resolution, they explained that later that afternoon, driver José Obregón and his wife Fabiana Cecilia González arrived at the house and helped remove evidence from the crime scene.
At 7:27 p.m., César Sena and Obregón loaded Cecilia’s body into the trunk of a white Hilux truck and went to Campo Rossi, located in the rural area of Puerto Tirol, where Gustavo Melgarejo and Griselda Reinoso, caretakers of the property, assisted them in burning the body.
“[Cecilia] believed she was travelling to Ushuaia, so much so that she prepared a suitcase, and said goodbye to her family,” prosecutor Jorge Gómez said at the press conference. “Not only that but she told her friends and family that she was afraid of traveling by plane, as she had never been to Buenos Aires.”
“Cecilia’s last Google searches were about how to put a suitcase together, what to take in a suitcase on a plane, where to buy chocolates in Buenos Aires, where to have the best coffee there.”
According to Gómez, a fire to burn things was carried out in the Sena’s field. Burnt bones of an adult person were found amongst the ashes. Remains of hands, feet, and skull belonging to a single adult person were also found in the Tragadero River.
On Friday, the family’s plaintiff said prosecutors should have included the aggravating circumstance of “aggravated assault” and “femicide” in the accusation against the victim’s husband and his parents. Meanwhile, defense attorneys were analyzing the resolution to try and repeal the pre-trial custody orders.
— With information from Télam