Remains identified as Mexican kidnap victim

December 11, 2008 - 9:39pm
By MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press Writer
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Prosecutors said Thursday they have identified remains found in a clandestine grave as those of the kidnapped daughter of Mexico's former national sports commissioner.
The kidnapping of 19-year-old Silvia Vargas provoked outrage in Mexico, which has suffered a wave of abductions for ransom. Silvia's father, Nelson Vargas, served as Mexico's top sports official until 2006.
"Today, we know that Silvia is with God. We ask everyone to pray for her and all those people who have suffered the same pain that we have felt since Sept. 10, 2007," when Silvia Vargas disappeared, the family said in a written statement.
Vargas was apparently snatched from her vehicle as she drove to school in Mexico City, and it wasn't until last week that information on her fate began to emerge.
An informant told investigators Vargas had been killed at a home on the southern outskirts of the city.
Police raided the home last week and found human remains buried under a patio. The Attorney General's Office said that DNA and other tests showed the remains were those of the missing woman.
The family, which had asked the news media to help solve the case, requested in its statement that "any speculation or detailed, confidential information that might increase our pain" regarding Silvia's death "not be made known."
"We, her family and friends, want to remember Silvia the way she was the last time she was with us," the statement said.
The Attorney General's Office promised it would not release the details of forensics studies.
At a news conference in November, Nelson Vargas angrily demanded police step up their investigation, and suggested they had been remiss in not identifying a former driver for the family as a possible suspect in the case.
The former driver, Oscar Ortiz, is the brother of one of Mexico's most wanted kidnapping suspects. Ortiz has been detained but has denied any involvement in the kidnapping.
Vargas' family went public with the case in August, begging the kidnappers to hand over the girl. Her mother hung banners with her daughter's photograph across Mexico City and launched a public campaign for information in the case _ one of several prominent kidnappings to shake Mexico.
Earlier this year, the 14-year-old son of Mexican sporting goods magnate Alejandro Marti was kidnapped and killed, even though his family reportedly paid a ransom. That case prompted more than 100,000 people to march through Mexico City to demand an end to police corruption and rising crime.
Non-governmental groups claim Mexico has one of the world's highest kidnapping rates, surpassing Colombia.
But the government says abductions have fallen 18 percent to about 72 a month since governors, mayors and federal officials signed a national security accord to battle crime in August
(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)






By MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press Writer
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Prosecutors said Thursday they have identified remains found in a clandestine grave as those of the kidnapped daughter of Mexico's former national sports commissioner.
The kidnapping of 19-year-old Silvia Vargas provoked outrage in Mexico, which has suffered a wave of abductions for ransom. Silvia's father, Nelson Vargas, served as Mexico's top sports official until 2006.
"Today, we know that Silvia is with God. We ask everyone to pray for her and all those people who have suffered the same pain that we have felt since Sept. 10, 2007," when Silvia Vargas disappeared, the family said in a written statement.
Vargas was apparently snatched from her vehicle as she drove to school in Mexico City, and it wasn't until last week that information on her fate began to emerge.
An informant told investigators Vargas had been killed at a home on the southern outskirts of the city.
Police raided the home last week and found human remains buried under a patio. The Attorney General's Office said that DNA and other tests showed the remains were those of the missing woman.
The family, which had asked the news media to help solve the case, requested in its statement that "any speculation or detailed, confidential information that might increase our pain" regarding Silvia's death "not be made known."
"We, her family and friends, want to remember Silvia the way she was the last time she was with us," the statement said.
The Attorney General's Office promised it would not release the details of forensics studies.
At a news conference in November, Nelson Vargas angrily demanded police step up their investigation, and suggested they had been remiss in not identifying a former driver for the family as a possible suspect in the case.
The former driver, Oscar Ortiz, is the brother of one of Mexico's most wanted kidnapping suspects. Ortiz has been detained but has denied any involvement in the kidnapping.
Vargas' family went public with the case in August, begging the kidnappers to hand over the girl. Her mother hung banners with her daughter's photograph across Mexico City and launched a public campaign for information in the case _ one of several prominent kidnappings to shake Mexico.
Earlier this year, the 14-year-old son of Mexican sporting goods magnate Alejandro Marti was kidnapped and killed, even though his family reportedly paid a ransom. That case prompted more than 100,000 people to march through Mexico City to demand an end to police corruption and rising crime.
Non-governmental groups claim Mexico has one of the world's highest kidnapping rates, surpassing Colombia.
But the government says abductions have fallen 18 percent to about 72 a month since governors, mayors and federal officials signed a national security accord to battle crime in August.
(This version CORRECTS spelling of 'Silvia.')

(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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