Killing of 7-year-old stokes anger in Mexico over femicides

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Relatives post a photo of Fatima, a 7-year-old girl who was abducted from the entrance of the Enrique C. Rebsamen primary school and later murdered, at her home in Mexico City, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. The girl's body was found wrapped in a bag and abandoned in a rural area on Saturday and was identified by genetic testing. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY – The killing of a 7-year-old girl on the southern outskirts of Mexico City has stoked rising anger over the brutal slayings of women, including one found stabbed to death and skinned earlier this month.

The city prosecutor's office said Monday that investigators identified a body found over the weekend as that of Fatima, a grade-school student who was taken by a stranger on Feb. 11. By law, prosecutors don't give the full name of victims.

Her body was found wrapped in a bag and abandoned in a rural area on Saturday and was identified by genetic testing. The cause of death has not been released. Five people have been questioned in the case, and video footage of her abduction exists.

Mexico City prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said the girl's murder would not go unpunished. The investigation is focused on identifying the woman seen walking away from the school with the girl.

Guillermo Anton Godínez, the girl's grandfather, said Monday that his daughter arrived at the school 15 or 20 minutes after the woman led the girl away. He added that his granddaughter had left the school wearing her uniform, but the woman had put a green shirt and pants on her.

His daughter was initially told that authorities couldn't begin searching for 72 hours after her disappearance, he said. However, the prosecutors office said an Amber alert was issued about the girl's disappearance the same day that relatives reported her missing.

Prosecutors' spokesman Ulises Lara offered a $100,000 reward for information on the person who picked her up when she left school.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum personally accompanied the girl's mother during the legal paperwork involved in filing charges and picking up the girl's body. “We are going to accompany the family, and justice must be done,” Sheinbaum said.