The words of a parrot will be used as evidence in court following the rape and murder of a woman in Argentina.
Police believe the parrot was repeating the last words of Elizabeth Toledo, 46, who was killed in the city of San Fernando, Argentina.
Toledo was raped and murdered in her home in the town of Virreyes in December 2018. She was found naked, beaten, and with signs of strangulation by Argentinian police officers.
One officer testified at the scene of the crime that as he was preparing to leave, he heard the bird scream “¡Ay por favor soltame, ay no!” (“oh, please let me go, oh no!”)
The police officer testified what he had heard the parrot say under oath.
La Nacion said the officer had been standing outside the door when he heard a woman’s scream. Toledo’s naked body was found lying on a mattress on the floor, next to a green parrot in a cage.
Toledo’s flatmates, Miguel Saturnino Rolón (52) and Jorge Raúl Álvarez (64) will appear in court on charges of aggravated sexual assault and homicide – charges that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. A third suspect was linked to the crime, but the connection was dismissed when he presented a plausible alibi that he had been kicked out by the owner of the apartment for assaulting Toledo previously.
According to The Mirror, the parrot was heard by a neighbor to say “por qué me pegaste?” (“why did you beat me?”) on a separate occasion.
One key piece of evidence in the case is defensive injuries found on the body – the imprint of a bite mark left on the victim’s arm, which Spanish newspaper Clarin said was “like a fingerprint.”
Bibiana Santella, the San Fernando prosecutor in charge of the case, said the bite marks on the victim’s forearm match Rolon’s teeth, while DNA evidence “links Álvarez to Toledo’s rape and killing.”
Dental Molds Aided Prosecutors in Their Investigation
According to Clarin (translated from the original Spanish,) “the prosecutor commissioned the Legal Dentistry Division of the La Plata Scientific Police Superintendency to check the imprint of the bite left by the murderer with the bite of each of the suspects.
“The dental experts made … an exact copy of the teeth of each of the suspects, and when comparing the bite of each of them with the marks found on the victim, they concluded that they coincided in three points with ‘the canine, first premolar and second premolar’ of the lower-left arch of the accused Rolón, according to … Télam [the Argentinian national news agency.]”
Clarin reported on previous incidents of domestic violence at the domicile, where Toledo rented a room and lived with the three men.
The paper said Rolón made the call to 911 following the December 30th incident, reporting that he had found Toledo murdered after returning from work at a local rugby club.
The prosecutor said it was suspicious that Rolón was able to “describe in detail” how Toledo has been murdered before a doctor even arrived on the scene.
Rolón’s version of events was “further complicated by a witness who heard the screams of a woman and saw him enter and leave the crime scene at the time of the fact.”
The same witness said Álvarez had proclaimed his innocence but had had sex with Toledo that morning.
“Only after that he realized that she was dead, so he was scared, tried to clean the scene, and fled,” Clarin reported.
Rolón and Álvarez refused to testify in court, however the coroner who performed the autopsy, Federico Corasaniti, was categorical in stating he was in no doubt that the victim “was abused sexually before dying from [her] injuries.”