12 years after the crime of Érica Soriano, her mother asks to investigate what happened to her body

Photo: Florence Downes

Twelve years after the crime of Érica Soriano, who disappeared on August 20, 2010 in the district of Lanús in Buenos Aires and was never found, the mother asked that the investigation continue to find out what happened to her daughter’s body and maintained that “she maintains the hope” that some accomplice of Daniel Lagostena, the only one convicted of the act, “will break”.

“Although Lagostena is in prison, it is not enough. He never said what he did with the body. There is something that is not finished, “said María Ester Romero, mother of Érica Soriano, in an interview with Télam, in which she remembered her daughter with melancholy and maintained that” as long as there is time, you can always continue the investigation ”.

In this sense, María Ester has the “conviction” that the only person convicted of the act had the help of the owner of a funeral home to dispose of Erica’s body.

“One of the people who should be investigated is Leonardo de Simone, who was in charge of the funeral home ‘La Paz’. That place previously belonged to Daniel Lagostena, “said the woman, who also revealed that this man now lives in the house that previously belonged to the father of the alleged murderer.

“Although Lagostena will never say it because he is a psychopath, there may be people around who are not and someone talks or breaks. That is my hope. That’s not going to make me get my daughter back, but I don’t like to leave things halfway.”Mary Esther Romero

Erica’s mother added: “It is not recorded that he bought the house from Lagostena’s father. It’s very weird. I think De Simone is very involved in what happened to my daughter.”

About, the woman said that she will seek to contact the prosecutor in the coming weeks of the case, Gerardo Loureyro, to ask him to resume the investigation and confessed that he continues to hope that “someone speaks or breaks” to finish determining what happened that night of August 20, 2010.

“Although Lagostena will never say it because he is a psychopath, there may be people around who are not and someone talks or breaks. That is my hope. That is not going to make me get my daughter back, but I do not like to leave things halfway, ”she assured.

Photo: Florence Downes

crime and investigation

The investigation confirmed that on August 20, 2010, Lagostena and Érica (30), then two and a half months pregnant, arrived at 8:30 p.m. at the home they shared at 1433 Coronel Santiago Street, in the Buenos Aires town of Lanús, after visiting an obstetrician at the Mater Dei Sanatorium, located in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo.

It was established that at 10:13 p.m. Erica spoke with a friend, who later stated that she realized that she was having a fight with Lagostena on the trip.

Around midnight, the accused began to exchange messages with one of his nephews, with whom until then – as was proven in the investigation – he had not had a daily or habitual relationship.

Around 5 the next day, a cell phone in the name of the young man’s mother recorded outgoing calls in downtown Buenos Aires and the Costanera Norte, and later in Lanús, where the intensities of the communications aroused the attention of the researchers because the schedule or the pattern of the same was not usual.

During the trial, the testimonies of more than 40 witnesses and the emails exchanged between the couple were analyzed, after which it was concluded that the relationship was going through a crisis due to jealousy and mistrust of Lagostena.

After the disappearance of the woman, the experts who searched for traces in the couple’s house found the fireplace hot, despite the fact that it was 24 degrees that day, and traces of polyester that corresponded to an item of Erica’s underwear, so that it is presumed that the alleged murderer burned his clothing there.

A blood stain was also found under a coffee table. that was detected with the Luminol reagent, but since it had been washed, it could only be determined that it was a woman’s.

Furthermore, during the discussion, the testimonies of more than 40 witnesses and the emails exchanged were analyzed between the couple, after which it was concluded that the relationship was going through a crisis due to jealousy and mistrust of Lagostena.

Sentence

Finally, the man was sentenced on July 11, 2018 to 22 years in prison by the Oral Criminal Court (TOC) 9 of Lomas de Zamora, accused of “homicide in an ideal contest with abortion in the context of gender violence” in harm to your partner.

For his part, the defendant’s lawyer, Francisco Oneto, still awaits a resolution by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (CSJN), after filing a complaint in August last yearafter the Criminal Cassation Chamber I of Buenos Aires rejected as “inadmissible” an extraordinary federal appeal to review Lagostena’s conviction.

At that time, Oneto raised, among other issues, that the court that tried his client in 2018 incurred in “an erroneous and absurd assessment of the evidence, affecting the principle of consistency.”

In the meantime, Lagostena served his sentence 6 years ago in pavilion 4 of Penitentiary Unit number 1 of Olmosof the Buenos Aires Penitentiary Service (SPB).

Sources from the investigation told Télam that this pavilion has 18 cells with capacity for two people each, that Lagostena is pursuing a technical degree in the textile industry and has a good relationship with the other prisoners.

Daniel Lagostena, convicted of the crime / Archive photo.

“The phrase that says that time heals everything is a lie”

On the other hand, Erica’s mother admitted that “the ugly moments reappear in each case in which a girl does not return home.”

“I remove what happened with Erica not only when the anniversary date approaches. It happens to me every time a girl disappears. She was talking to a mom who had the same thing happen to her. She told me that she gets desperate because when night comes, she imagines that she is out there in the cold street. That happened to me with Erica when she did not appear the first few days, “said María Ester.

“Unfortunately, the phrase that says that time heals everything is a lie. Time passes and it seems like it was yesterday. I say that I have my children, my family and things to do that keep me well,” added the woman who is now vice president of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Association of Parents “From Inside to the World”, which fights for inclusion of people with disabilities.

Photo: Florence Downes

Finally, María Esther remembered her daughter as a “funny and funny woman”.

“I remember her in the best moments. What does me good is to thank. Because I realize that I was able to be with her in her thirty years of life, that I managed to meet her and be her mother, “he concluded.

Photo: Florence Downes

12 years after the crime of Érica Soriano, her mother asks to investigate what happened to her body