The body of a missing teenager who was stabbed to death has been found in a freezer.
Police have arrested Nelson Osvaldo Winnik, 41, for the murder of Adriana Estefania Dos Santos, 16, who had disappeared from her home six days prior.
Winnik had rented a house in San Pedro, Argentina – where Dos Santos was found in a freezer.
The suspect’s family had lost touch with him after he moved to the town two months earlier, but his brother-in-law went to his house on September 14 to try to track him down.
Upon arriving, the brother-in-law noticed a “rancid smell” coming from inside – he forced entry and followed the smell to the freezer that had been taped shut.
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After forcing the freezer door open, he found a plastic bag tied up with electrical wires, with a rotting corpse inside wrapped in sheets.
Police arrived at the scene and found a blood-stained T-shirt and sneakers – later identified as Dos Santos’ belongings – inside the home.
Cops also found pills, which were sent out for analysis. Winnik was not home at the time police raided his house.
An autopsy on the body confirmed it was Dos Santos and that she had been stabbed in different places.
Investigators believe the teen was killed at least five days before Winnik’s brother-in-law found her.
Police are now working to determine if she was sexually abused before her death.
While the murder weapon is still unclear, investigators say it may have been a table knife.
Winnik was arrested the next day in an empty lot near his mother’s house in San Jose, a three-hour drive away from the murder site.
He had been carrying Dos Santos’ ID, mobile phone, and debit card when he was arrested, local news outlets reported.
Winnik’s neighbors in San Pedro described him as “closed-off” and “always seen alone,” while local media described him as “an odd-job man with a drug habit.”
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He is expected to be charged with femicide, and he will have an interrogatory hearing on Wednesday.
Dos Santos’ mother, Olga Barrios, told local news outlets: “I am devastated, we are devastated as a family. We want justice. What he did cannot go unpunished.”
Police are currently investigating whether the victim and suspect knew each other, as well as the motive for the crime.
On Tuesday, hundreds of San Pedro residents marched through the town to demand justice for Dos Santos’ death.
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