A bakery worker was astounded when she saw a 21 month-old tot lying on top of her mothers body in a sewer.
The worker lifted a manhole cover to do some cleaning up and saw little Martina Acosta’s legs and then realised she was looking up at him. Police said that she had been trapped in the sewer for 80 hours and that her mother’s body had afforded her some protection from the icy water in the sewer.
Martina’s mother, mum-of-three Paola Acosta had gone missing with her daughter after her ex-boyfriend, 33 year-old Gonzalo Lizarralde, paid them a visit at their home in Cordoba, Argentina. Lizarralde had been to give a maintenance payment to Ms Acosta after a DNA paternity test proved that Martina was his daughter. Once mother and daughter were reported missing by Ms Acosta’s teenage sons, police launched a search.
During their investigations, officers discovered blood in Lizarralde’s van and his was arrested. Once Martina was rescued from the sewer she was treated in hospital for pneumonia and a broken leg.
On investigating officer said: “The person who killed Paola didn’t have the courage to kill the little girl and that’s why he threw her into the sewer alive. He must have thought she was going to die from the fall.”
The head of Cordoba CID, Miguel Oliva, explained how Martina was found by the unsuspecting bakery worker: “He lifted the manhole cover with the help of some neighbours and saw her staring up at him with an innocent look as if asking for help.”
A doctor at Cordoba Hospital, Ricardo Manzur, explained how because Martina was lying on her mother’s body, that might have saved her life: “We think that gave her some protection from the cold and may have saved her life because she was surrounded by filthy water and was wet all the time because of the recent rain.”