After the body of a pregnant 16-year-old girl from the Dominican Republic was found stuffed in a suitcase on the side of the road Friday, police have begun examining her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s mother as possible suspects, reported People.
Authorities identified the body as Emely Peguero and they also discovered 5-month-old fetal remains inside her. Post mortem tests revealed Peguero’s uterus was punctured and the teen suffered from blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Attorney General of the Dominican Republic.
Peguero’s boyfriend, Marlon Martinez, and his mother, Marlyn Martinez, were detained by police after the 19-year-old allegedly confessed to dumping her body in a landfill after her death from a botched abortion, which is illegal in the Dominican Republic.
When authorities searched the landfill, they were unable to find Peguero’s body. Marlyn Martinez allegedly offered the prosecution knowledge of the body’s location, yet her offer was denied and she was subsequently arrested. An unnamed third person was also taken into custody for allegedly helping in transferring the body.
Authorities also believe they’ve identified the doctor who allegedly performed the abortion and their identity will be revealed when they are presented in court, according to Bolivar Sánchez, the commissioner appointed by the Office of the Attorney General to carry out the investigation.
The Martinez family’s lawyer, César José Hernández, has received deadly threats for defending the mother and son. “Both myself and my family have been threatened with physical assault and damage to our goods and property. I have been slandered by the media and social networks. But I understand that ignorance is free and bold,” he told People Chica.
Community leader Miguel Angel Diaz Alejo declared two days of mourning following the burial of Peguero.
As Peguero’s family mourns the death of the teenager, the Martinez family remains determined to prove their innocence. “The goal now [is] to collect more proof in order to request a variation the measure of coercion and structure a defense in accordance with what really transpired,” said Hernandez, the defense attorney.
(Photo: Guschenkova/Getty Images)