BRETÓN TRIAL

“He was completely obsessive. The children came to fear him”

Missing Córdoba youngsters’ mother testifies in murder trial

Ruth Ortiz, the mother of the two missing children, Ruth and José, arriving at the Córdoba courthouse to testify on Wednesday.
Ruth Ortiz, the mother of the two missing children, Ruth and José, arriving at the Córdoba courthouse to testify on Wednesday. salas (EFE)

“Bretón was never affectionate toward the kids. I remember one day in El Portil he scorned his daughter and on another occasion he slapped José because he didn’t want to eat. I told him not to it again.” Ruth Ortiz, the mother of missing Córdoba youngsters, Ruth and José, took the stand in the murder trial of José Bretón on Wednesday and painted a very different picture to the image of a loving father presented by her former husband a day earlier.

“It is untrue that he brought them up,” Ortiz told the court in response to Bretón’s prior claim. “Before they went to the nursery my mother and I looked after them. Bretón did what most people do. He said that when I got home the kids were mine.”

During her testimony Ortiz asked that Bretón be concealed behind a dividing screen, which was duly set up. She spoke about the couple’s separation, which the prosecution believes provided Bretón with a revenge motive. “He took it very badly,” she said. “He grabbed some things and went to Córdoba. He took the child seats out of the car and left them on the porch.”

Ortiz also told the court that Bretón was a controlling person who would not let her see her sister or let the children out of his sight. “Before the separation he was like a robot, he was completely obsessive. The children came to fear him; he did not let them be children. He saw them as a drag on our relationship.”

The trial continues.

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