Civil Guard arrests mother of 12-year-old girl found dead in Santiago

Investigators want to clarify story about mystery intruder at family home

The Civil Guard has arrested Rosario Porto Ortega, the mother of a 12-year-old girl who was found dead in woodland outside Santiago de Compostela on Sunday, police sources have confirmed. Porto, a lawyer, was taken into custody at the Civil Guard headquarters in A Coruña, where the same sources said she is being question in relation to certain inconsistencies in the initial statement she gave to investigators.

Porto told detectives in Santiago that in the middle of July a man broke into her downtown apartment while her daughter was asleep, but that she never filed a police report about the incident. She explained that she didn’t want to cause her daughter any distress, although she admitted the youngster had sensed an intruder and screamed.

“At about 2.30am I heard my daughter cry out and I got out of bed and saw a man, about 5’ 3” tall, well built, wearing dark clothing and latex gloves and running away down the hallway,” Porto said. She added that the break-in was probably the result of her accidentally having left her keys in the door. She did not clarify whether or not she had subsequently had the locks changed.

The girl was reported missing by her parents last Sunday evening and found by walkers in woodland on the outskirts of Santiago at about 1.30am. Preliminary examinations suggested she had died from asphyxiation.

Porto’s arrest on Tuesday morning came as a shock to those close to her. The news began to emerge shortly after her daughter had been cremated at a private service. A spokesman for the family, Tareixa Navaza, said he was surprised by the news as he had seen Porto depart with no police presence. A funeral service will be held at 8.30pm Tuesday at a church near the family home in Santiago.

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