According to MailOnline, the suspect, Esterlín Francisco Santos, confessed to the crime, saying he killed and disposed of Liz María Sánchez’s body into the sea out of fear she would tell her family he sexually assaulted her. He had also promised her a phone to keep mute.
Per security camera footage, the victim was last seen walking through an alley around Santos’ house in Santo Domingo. Hours later, footage captured the suspect pushing his motorcycle out of the alley with a large yellow bag strapped at the back reportedly containing Sánchez’s body. Santos then rode off and returned later without the bag.
During interrogation, Santos told cops he strangled the victim after raping her and then hid her body in the bag before riding off to dump her. He also confessed to putting rocks in the bag before throwing her body into the sea.
A search for the victim was called off after attempts by divers to locate and retrieve the girl’s body proved futile on Wednesday, MailOnline reports. After Santos’ implication, angry residents burned tires and his motorcycle on the street around the crime scene.
Relatives of the girl told local newspaper Listín Diario that the suspect was a known and trusted person in their family, and was even friends with the victim’s father.
“He came here and even ate. He was a good friend of the girl’s father and he behaved very well at least with the family,” Sánchez’s grandmother said.
Santos is facing rape and murder charges and virtually appeared in court Wednesday. Listín Diario reports the Santo Domingo prosecutor’s office also requested preventive detention against Santos on Wednesday.
The prosecutor handling the case, Milcíades Guzmán, said they will present a solid case to “guarantee that the full weight of the law falls against the accused,” warning that these “type of crimes will not go unpunished.”