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CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Santiago girl Asunta may have died from drug overdose

Investigation focusing on sedatives as semen stain is also found on dead girl’s shirt

Asunta Basterra, the 12-year-old girl found dead on a forest trail outside Santiago de Compostela in Galicia three weeks ago, may have died of an "accidental" overdose of lorazepam, a strong sedative used regularly by her mother. The results of forensic lab analysis show the child did not die of asphyxiation, as the preliminary evidence suggested, but of massive amounts of a tranquillizer that her parents regularly administered to her, according to the accounts of people who knew the child personally.

Rosario Porto and Alfonso Basterra, who have been held at the Teixeiro penitentiary since September 27 on suspicion that they were involved in the death of their adopted child, have appealed their imprisonment. On Thursday, the public prosecutor had asked for Asunta's parents to remain in custody.

Also revealed is that investigators found a trace of semen on the shirt Asunta was found wearing. So far, there is no indication of whether this has any connection with her possible murder or if it is merely incidental.

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