France

Pre-teen murdered by her adoptive parents

September 21, 2013
Galicia, Spain
12-year-old Asunta Basterra is killed by her adoptive parents

Asunta was adopted when she was a year old by a wealthy couple: lawyer Rosario Porto Ortega and journalist Alfonso Basterra Camporro. She attended a prestigious school and showed talent in music and ballet, studied Mandarin Chinese, and had an English-language blog.

From July 2013, possibly earlier, Asunta began telling her friends and a teacher about strange behaviors from her parents. In a message sent to a friend on WhatsApp, she confessed she was nervous and her parents tried to kill her. She also told a friend and a teacher that her parents were slipping her some powder.

On the evening of September 21, Asunta’s parents reported her missing. Her body was found the next morning. Autopsy results showed she had died from an overdose of sedatives. On September 24, Asunta’s mother was arrested for murder. Her father was arrested shortly after.

During investigation, several questionable photographs of Asunta were recovered from her father’s computer, though he claimed they were taken “out of context.” Between the photographs on the computer, a rope used to tie Asunta found in the mother’s possession, and a suspected motive of money (Asunta was to inherit a large amount of money from her mother’s parents who had recently died), the case against Rosario and Alfonso was strong. They were found guilty of murder and prosecutors are asking for the maximum sentence, 20 years in prison.

Some of the photographs of Asunta found on Alfonso’s computer can be seen here. Warning: they could be unsettling to some readers.

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