Debanhi Escobar Dead: Viral Photo Sparked Search for Teen

debanhi escobar

Instagram Debanhi Escobar

Debanhi Escobar was a missing Mexican teenager who was found dead after a viral photo raised concern about her fate.

A photo of Escobar, 18, standing on the side of a highway in Mexico at night went viral and sparked growing concern about the missing teenager. However, the story did not have a positive ending, Mexican officials have now confirmed.

According to CBS News, Escobar was a law student.

Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia wrote on Facebook, in reaction to the Escobar case:

Above any project, in this Government we have priority to address violence against women and girls. That’s why, today I introduced Eusebia González González, who will be the new dispatch in charge of the Secretary of Women. We are working very hard to address the causes that cause this problem and I will be very clear: to the rapists, feminicides and all those who hurt the women of New Lion, know that we will find them and punish them with everything the weight of the law. 👊🏻

During the same week that police were searching for Escobar, local media reported that the bodies of five other women and girls were discovered in the same Mexican state but the head of the state Search Commission, Mary Balderas later said those reports were wrong and they were all found alive, according to CBS News.

According to Reuters, Escobar’s cause of death “was a contusion to the skull,” and her father said his daughter was “beaten and strangled.” The motive and suspect or suspects are not clear.

Here’s what you need to know:

Escobar’s Body Was Discovered in a Water Tank at a Motel


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A post shared by Debanhi Escobar (@debanhi.escobar)

According to the Associated Press, Escobar’s “decomposing body” was discovered in a “subterranean water tank at a motel.”

On April 22, 2022, the Associated Press noted that people were able to identify Escobar through a crucifix necklace and her clothing, but it’s believed she was in the water for “nearly two weeks.”

“The alert was sounded by hotel workers, because of the fetid odors coming from the cistern,” Assistant Public Safety Secretary Ricardo Mejia told AP.

Authorities claimed they were launching a “massive search” for Escobar, according to the Associated Press.

An Instagram Page Says That Escobar’s 2 Friends Returned Home ‘Without Taking Debanhi’


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A post shared by Debanhi Escobar (@debanhi.escobar)

An Instagram page devoted to finding Escobar, which is in Spanish, offered additional details about the viral photo. It reads:

For those who wonder if this photograph is real, IF IT IS REAL, it was the last time Debanhi was seen, we have had this photo since the morning of April 9.

On April 8, Debanhi went to a Quinta near the PGR, along with 2 friends, who returned home without taking Debanhi, that is, they left her alone in the quinta. Her friends say that they called a ‘trusted contact’ to pick her up from the place (said ‘contact’ works on ride platforms like Uber/DiDi, but the work that was done was outside the platform). The photograph was taken by the ‘contact’ shortly before the abandonment and sent to Debanhi’s friends.

It’s not clear why the friends left Escobar or how she died. The page says she was left on the roadside at 5 a.m. The page further noted, “She was wearing a white top, loose black high pants, black converse and loose hair.”

Escobar’s Father Raised Concerns About the Driver


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A post shared by Debanhi Escobar (@debanhi.escobar)

According to CBS News, Escobar’s father, Mario Escobar, said “prosecutors told him that surveillance camera footage suggested the driver inappropriately touched his daughter.”

“I suppose that my daughter did not put up with the harassment,” the father said, according to CBS. The driver’s name was not released, and the father told CBS that he is not saying the driver killed Escobar.

Reuters also spoke to the father. “We are destroyed inside,” he said. “We had so much faith that we would find her alive, but that’s not what happened.”

Escobar disappeared near the Mexican city of Monterrey, according to Reuters.

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