Missing child found in Ecuador
PANAMÁ. A Panamanian girl missing since she was eighteen months old, has been found in Ecuador following a joint effort by Interpol and...
PANAMÁ. A Panamanian girl missing since she was eighteen months old, has been found in Ecuador following a joint effort by Interpol and the National Police Directive for Boys, Girls, and Teens in the Guayas province.
An eight year old girl, Angelis Mitre Castillo found in Ecuador could be a child who disappeared in Panama in 2002, according to the Ecuadorian authorities.
Panamanian authorities believe she could be Monica Serrano, kidnapped in Panama on February 8, 2003 from her grandmother’s house in Arraijan.
The Serrano family’s missing child case has been unsolved for years despite arduous efforts by her parents to find her,and keep the story alive.
According to the Ecuadorian daily Expreso , Ecuadorian authorities said Maria del Carmen Medina Reyes allegedly brought Angelis to Ecuador, then travelled to Spain and left the child with a woman called Matilde Ronquillo.
Police learned two months ago that the child was in Guayaquil with Oredai Nieto Reyes, sister of Maria.
“She told us that the girl had been gifted to her,” explained Reyes in her declaration to prosecutor Rene Astudio Orellana. Reyes admitted that she registered the child irregularly as an Ecuadorian with the help of a lawyer. The child lived in south Guayaquil for most of the time.
“I thought nothing would happen seeing as I’ve never been involved in these cases,” Nieto Reyes said before the Police and the Prosecutor. According to EFE , the woman is now detained by the police.
According to Attorney General Ana Matilde Gomez, the Panamanian INTERPOL office contacted its Spain counterpart to look for an Ecuadorian woman (not identified by Gomez) who called Panama last January to say that she had a girl that looked a lot like Monica.
The woman claimed the child had been gifted to her in Panama, and that she had all of the minor’s legal paperwork in order, said Gomez.
Gomez added that this was kept from the media as to not jeopardize the investigation of Monica’s whereabouts.
Monica Serrano’s family are hopeful that the recently found girl could be their missing child. Castor Serrano, Monica’s father, told the EFE news agency that the prosecutor informed them they were on top of the case, and were sending a delegation to Ecuador for further investigation.
Panamanian authorities authorized a commission made up of the Auxiliary Prosecutor Luis Martinez, Foreign Ministry personnel, and genetics specialists to travel to Ecuador and investigate whether the girl is Monica.
Jose Vicente Pachar, from the Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Institute, said they would have to wait for the DNA tests to learn the real identity of the child. The Attorney General said yesterday Panama has 48 hours to prove the child is Monica.