The body of a missing teenager, stabbed to death, has been found in a freezer.
Police arrested Nelson Osvaldo Winnik, 41, for the murder of Adriana Estefania Dos Santos, 16, who disappeared from her home six days earlier.
Winnik had rented a house in San Pedro, Argentina, where Dos Santos was found in a freezer.
The suspect’s family had lost contact with him after moving to the city two months earlier, but his brother-in-law went to his house on September 14 to try to find him.
Upon arriving, the brother-in-law noticed a “rancid smell” coming from inside – he forced entry and followed the smell to the freezer which had been taped shut.
After forcing open the freezer door, he found a plastic bag tied with electrical wires, with a decomposing corpse inside wrapped in sheets.
Police arrived at the scene and found a bloodstained T-shirt and sneakers – later identified as Dos Santos’ belongings – inside the house.
Police also found pills which were sent for analysis. Winnik was not home when police searched his house.
The autopsy of the body confirmed that it was Dos Santos and that she had been stabbed in different places.
Investigators believe the teen was killed at least five days before Winnik’s brother-in-law found her.
Police are now working to determine whether she was sexually assaulted before her death.
Although the murder weapon is still unclear, investigators say it could have been a table knife.
Winnik was arrested the next day in a vacant lot near his mother’s home in San Jose, a three-hour drive from the murder site.
He had Dos Santos’ ID card, cell phone and debit card with him when he was arrested, local media reported.
Winnik’s neighbors in San Pedro describe him as “withdrawn” and “always seen alone,” while local media describe him as “a drug-addicted odd-job man.”
He is expected to be charged with femicide and will have an interrogation hearing on Wednesday.
Dos Santos’ mother, Olga Barrios, told local media: “I am devastated, we are devastated as a family. We want justice. What he did cannot go unpunished.
Police are currently investigating whether the victim and suspect knew each other, as well as the motive for the crime.
On Tuesday, hundreds of San Pedro residents marched through the city demanding justice for Dos Santos’ death.
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