The body of a pregnant 16-year-old was found in a suitcase on the side of a road in the Dominican Republic on Friday (1 September). Authorities also discovered foetal remains in the body of the girl, who was confirmed to be five months pregnant.
According to the Attorney General of the Dominican Republic, tests revealed that Emely Peguero's uterus was punctured and that she had suffered a blunt blow to her head.
People Magazine reported that Peruego's boyfriend, Marlon Martinez, and his mother, Marlyn Martinez, were detained after he allegedly admitted that he dumped his girlfriend's body in a landfill when she died from an abortion.
Dominican authorities searched the landfill but were not able to find the teenager's body. Marlyn Martinez then reportedly offered prosecutors information about where Peguero's body could be found. However, authorities allegedly denied her offer and arrested her instead.
A third person, who was not identified, was also detained for allegedly helping to transfer the body.
Investigators said they were able to identify the doctor who allegedly performed the abortion, which is illegal in the Dominican Republic. Bolivar Sánchez, the commissioner appointed by the Office of the Attorney General to carry out the investigation, said the doctor's name will be released at court.
According to People, Marlon and Marlyn Martinez and their lawyer, César José Hernández have received deadly threats.
"While I agree that this is a horrendous tragedy, and my heart breaks for Emely and her family, it also breaks for Marlon, Marlyn and their family," criminal justice reform advocate, Leyla Martinez, told People. "It hurts to see how people are calling for them to be stoned or lynched."
New York Post reported that a GoFundMe page has been created to raise money for the girl's funeral.