Dec 1, 2011

Girl's body returned to family after morgue held her for two years

Copyright (c) 2011,WLM
By Kelly McKenzie/WLM
Nov. 30, 2011
JUAREZ, MEXICO - Officials with the state of Chihuahua delivered this week the body of a 15-year-old girl who was reported missing three years ago to her relatives.
Adriana Sarmiento Enriquez, a student at the Allende Preparatory School in the city's downtown, vanished in 2008.
Her body was found Nov. 5, 2009 in a cemetery in San Agustin, a village in the Valle de Juarez, east of Zaragoza.
Her family said officials would not let them view the bodies they held in the morgue to see if she was among the deceased.
The family provided DNA samples for identification purposes, but was not informed until this month that the results from a U.S. lab proved the match to be positive.
The girl's mother said she recognized the girl's clothing, and also would have recognized her by the dental work the girl had done before she turned up missing. In other words, Adriana Sarmiento's mother said she didn't need a DNA test to identify her daughter.
Officials did not explain why it took them two years to notify the family that they had her body in the morgue.
The Los Angeles Press online news service published a story this week alleging that Chihuahua state officials had uncovered a clandestine grave with the bodies of 15 young young women in the Valle de Juarez.
The story, citing unnamed government sources, said the morgue held more than 20 bodies of teenage girls and young women.
Officials denied the account.
Several months ago, the Mexican press published stories about a clandestine grave uncovered in the Valle de Juarez. Technicians from the medical examiner's office were photographed during the excavation work at the site, where they had unearthed five sets of remains.
The authorities never provided a follow-up report on their findings.
According to the Mexican National Commission on Human Rights, a government agency, about 100 girls and young women were reported missing in Juarez this year.
Several of the missing females had attended the Allende Preparatory School or were last seen in the downtown sector.