Paulette Gebara Farah|
20 July 2005
Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City, Mexico
22 March 2010|
|Cause of death||Asphyxia by obstruction of the nasal cavities and thorax-abdominal compression|
Mexico City, Mexico (2010–2017) remains exhumed and cremated in 2017
Paulette Gebara Farah (20 July 2005 – 22 March 2010) was a four-year-old Mexican girl, with a physical disability and a language disorder, who was found dead in her room in her family home located in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, on 31 March 2010.
Paulette was reported to have disappeared from her home on 22 March 2010, and her family began a campaign through media, advertisements, and social networks to find Paulette. Paulette's body was “accidentally” found in her own room wrapped in sheets between the mattress of her bed and the foot, the same place where her mother had offered interviews, and where experts from various agencies and even dogs trained to find her had come. However, no one noticed the existence of the corpse, until it was discovered on 31 March due to the smell of putrefaction. Her death was ruled "accidental" by Alberto Bazbaz, attorney general for the state of Mexico, who said his investigation concluded that Paulette died during the night after she turned herself around in bed, ended up at the foot, and died by a suffocation described as "mechanical asphyxia by obstruction of the nasal cavities and thorax-abdominal compression".
Paulette's body was buried at Panteón Francés in Mexico City in 2010, before her remains were exhumed and cremated on 3 May 2017, after authorities considered that the remains were no longer objects of evidence for the investigation of the case.
On the night of Sunday 21 March 2010, Paulette arrived from Valle de Bravo to her home, located in Huixquilucan, accompanied by her sister and her father, Mauricio Gebara. The mother of the girls, Lizette Farah, awaited their arrival to tuck them in and prepare them for sleep; she did so, and it was the last day she saw little Paulette.
The next morning, Erika, one of Paulette's two nannies, came to wake her up to take her to school and noticed her disappearance. She notified Mrs. Lizette and began the search in the building located on Hacienda del Cuervo street. Mauricio Gebara notified his sister of the disappearance of his daughter, and his sister informed the Huixquilucan authorities. Later, the mayor notified the Attorney General of State of Mexico.
After the initial search of the apartment building, Paulette's family claimed they could not find her. There were no signs of theft or kidnapping; the locks were intact, as were the windows and all entries to the home. The housing complex had surveillance, but nobody saw anything. Paulette couldn't go out alone, they said, because she had a motor and language disability.
In the afternoon, the Attorney General of the State of Mexico disseminated a poster with a photo of Paulette and some information about her age, appearance and physical deficiencies. Paulette's aunt, Arlette Farah, sent mailings and uploaded the photo of the girl to social networks, where the news spread with great speed and netizens unleashed a massive search. In the evening, Lizette Farah called the alleged abductor, asked that her daughter be returned to her that she be left in a shopping center or a crowded place and assured, on television, that there would be no reprisals. Lizette did not cry, but she looked nervous in the videos. After the announcement, she distributed flyers with Paulette's face, she had billboards put up, as well as advertisements on television and public transport.
Mauricio also appeared in the media, asking that his daughter be returned to him. He recalled that he had gone out to work on the morning of Monday 22 March, when Paulette had apparently disappeared. On 29 March, The Attorney General of the State of Mexico announced that Mauricio Gebara and Lizette Farah, parents of Paulette, as well as the sisters Erika and Martha Casimiro, Paulette's nannies, would be placed under a restriction order due to falsehoods and inconsistencies in the statements.
|“||"Each one of them at a certain moment have falsified their statements, which has made it difficult to know the truth of the facts and clarify a firm line of investigation," said then Attorney Alberto Bazbaz.||”|
On 30 March, Paulette's parents spent a few hours at the Procuraduría Mexiquense, and then they were transferred to a hotel where they would fulfill their restriction order. That same day, experts from the unit placed blankets at the home to carry out the reconstruction of the events with the presence of the parents.
On 31 March at around 2:00 am, Paulette's dead body was found in her bedroom, where previously experts had come with trained dogs and where her mother had given interviews. Paulette had died of an accident by "mechanical asphyxia due to obstruction of the nasal cavities and thorax-abdominal compression", said Alberto Bazbaz.
An autopsy revealed that Paulette slept with an "orthopedic cloth" over her mouth, which was placed every night to prevent her from sleeping with her mouth open; that her body was not manipulated after her death; and that she had eaten food at least five hours before her death. The corpse had two segments of rectangular adhesive cloth in vertical position on both cheeks, in addition to signs of a blow to the left elbow and knee. The findings revealed no signs of physical or sexual violence. The autopsy also established that her death occurred between five and nine days before the analysis was made. This was reported on 31 March, although they failed to reveal the exact date and hour of her death.
The investigators also found no traces of drugs or toxic substances in the body that could have affected the girl's consciousness. The conclusion was that Paulette "by her own means" moved on the bed and accidentally fell headlong into a space at the foot of her bed, where she died by asphyxiation, and subsequently remained there unnoticed for nine days.
On 3 April, Paulette's mother, Lizette Farah, initiated an amparo proceeding against the restriction order, claiming that she had not been involved in the events that caused her daughter's death. Specialists indicated that the woman suffered from personality disorders. During the procedure, Mrs. Farah became subject to indictment. On 4 April: A judge granted freedom to Paulette's parents and nannies. Mauricio Gebara left the hotel where he was staying at 10:20; Lizette Farah, main suspect, at 11:00; and the nannies, Erika and Martha Casimiro, at noon. None could leave the country because the inquiries continued. On 5 April, in separate interviews, Mauricio Gebara and Lizette Farah accused each other, Lizette claiming that her husband blamed her for Paulette's death, Mauricio that the death could not have been just an accident and that he could not put his hands in the fire for his wife.
On 7 April, The Gebara family denied Lizette Farah's request to see her other daughter, Lizette, seven years old, who had stayed with her father's family since Sunday, 4 April. On 10 May, The Attorney General of the Federal District, who also collaborated in the case at the request of her counterpart in the State of Mexico, granted the custody of Paulette's sister to her mother, Lizette Farah, who brought a complaint against her husband demanding custody of the girl. On 26 May, although Alberto Bazbaz defended the investigation and conclusions of the case, he resigned his position as head of the Attorney General of the State of Mexico, saying that a Procuraduría needs confidence to act effectively and that he had lost this confidence due to the questioning of his actions in the investigation of the death of Paulette Gebara Farah.
More than seven years later on 3 May 2017, Paulette's body was exhumed from her grave and cremated, since authorities considered that her remains were no longer objects of evidence for the investigation of the case.
Paulette's nannies Ericka and Martha Casimiro, insisted that the girl's body was not under her mattress, with Casimiro stating:
|“||"I looked in the bathroom, under the bed and in the closet. I saw that she was not there, and I also went into the bedroom of the lady to look for her, to the bedroom of the other girl [this refers to the room of Paulette's older sister, 7-year-old Lisset], and from there we started looking for her again. And I went back to look for her in the bedroom,"||”|
and Ericka stating:
|“||"In fact, if it had been like that, I think we would have noticed, since thousands of people came to look for her, the bed was made, I never saw the mattress pulled back, I did not see a bundle or anything, it does not make sense to me that the body could have been there since Monday."||”|
During the investigation of the case, a recording between Paulette's mother, Lizette, and her then 7-year-old sister, also named Lizette, was released, in which she tells her daughter not to say anything of Paulette's disappearance, so that they would not be blamed, with the following words:
|“||"Little Lizette asks, 'why mom?' and she replies, 'because otherwise they will blame us for stealing her or that you to take her away to be stolen.'"||”|
At first Lizette denied this, saying that the recording was ed so it sounded like she was telling her daughter to hide any information. Later, however, she accepted that these were the words she said, stating, "I had the conversation with my daughter, but not in the context they showed it."
In 2010 via YouTube, a video entitled 'El extraño caso de la pijama de Paulette' (Spanish for: 'The strange case of Paulette's pajamas') with photographs of her body dressed in pajamas with reindeer figures, taken by experts and disseminated in some media, seconds later, they show a video of an interview with the mother of the little girl made by the program Hechos de Fuerza Informativa Azteca in which the same pajamas appear on the girl's bed.