by Julio Olvera
Nobody saw nor heard anything. The surveillance cameras of the luxurious apartment building did not register anything out of the ordinary either, in the case of a little four-year-old girl that mysteriously disappeared from her home in Mexico.
The case of Paulette Gebara Farah, a little girl that suffers from speech and motor impairment, immediately referred the local media to that of British girl Madeleine McCann, in a resort in Portugal, in 2007.
Both girls, aged four, disappeared in a strange way; no locks were forced, and no doors were broken; nothing to indicate an act of violence, or anything to indicate the presence of an intruder or an abductor.
The little Mexican girl disappeared in the early morning of Monday, the 22nd of March, from her home in a condominium in Huixquilucan county, an exclusive residential area on the border of the State of Mexico with the Federal District.
Paulette’s parents swiftly addressed the media and used the internet to ask the public for help in finding their little daughter, as part of a broad campaign, after having filed a complaint with the authorities.
Nevertheless, a week later, the case suffered a turnaround as a judge authorised the General Attorney’s Office of the State of Mexico (PGJEM) to preventively arrest Mauricio Gebara and his wife, Liseth Farah, as well as two nannies.
This was due to the fact that the child’s parents and the nannies were the last persons that had contact with the child, and because they offered different and contradictory versions in their statements.
Each one of these people “has falsified their statement”, Mexican prosecutor Alberto Bazbaz told the press on the day before.
“At this moment, we can say that derived from the extensive investigations, we are able to determine that at least the four adults that were inside the house, offered different and contradictory versions on different occasions, and therefore there are inconsistencies that drive us to make a deeper analysis of the facts”, he said.
According to versions by the little girl’s parents, on the night of Sunday, the 21st of March, Mauricio Gebara handed Paulette and her seven-year-old sister over to his wife Lisette Farah, at the entrance to the Porto Vita 2 condominium in Interlomas, west of the Mexican capital.
The father and the two girls were returning home, after a weekend trip to Valle de Bravo, State of Mexico.
In her statement, Mrs Farah asserted that, once inside her apartment, she led the two girls to their bedroom to put them to bed; nonetheless, the next morning, one of the nannies, upon arriving at the house, noticed that Paulette was not in her bed.
When faced with this situation, according to the versions, the nanny alerted the little girl’s parents, who started a search over the entire house and the building, where they found no trace of her.
According to the police, there are no images to confirm that the little girl was in the building between the evening of Sunday the 21st and the early morning of the 22nd; the building has surveillance cameras located on all entrances, restricted access to the parking area and 24-hour surveillance.
source: Hora Cero, 31.03.2010
Update: Paulette's body has been found inside her family's home. The child's parents and two nannies remain in preventive custody. Investigations are ongoing.
Further comparisons between the case of Paulette and that of Madeleine can be read on CNN Mexico. Curiously, the article ends by stating that the McCann couple asked for the reopening of the process of their daughter's disappearance - something that apparently has yet to happen.