Envy and a million

“He is stupid, he cannot kill anyone,” said Roberto Fernández Montes (67) when they asked him to take care of his son-in-law, Santiago Corona (40). Money, jealousy and hate crossed a family bond that ended with a scam. What nobody imagined is that this fight would end in a crime brutal: Corona killed his wife’s father and hired a butcher to help him hide the body.

Corona ended up sentenced to life and his accomplice, after being a fugitive for five years, was extradited from Paraguay and awaits trial in prison. For the family of the Spanish businessman there were more people involved in the crime.

The crime and the search

On January 21, 2017 Roberto Fernandez Montes entered his apartment at 36 Aranguren Street, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of little horse Hours passed and the man did not answer calls or messages. The family began to worry and, due to his background, they first thought of a health problem. They searched for him on the street and in hospitals. They asked the neighbors, also the friends. It was in the afternoon that -worried- they made the police report.

That night no one slept. The despair was total: Fernández Montes had vanished. The Spaniard’s family reviewed over and over again any idea or possibility. They never imagined what would happen next.

Corona was part of the search. He drove following the route that his father-in-law took to go to the office. He pretended, without proving anything else, that he was looking for him somewhere broken. By then Natalia Fernandez (45), the eldest of the businessman’s daughters, had had two children with Corona, in the middle of a relationship crossed by violence.

The murderer had lived for two years in the apartment on Aranguren street with his partner, his sister-in-law and his father-in-law. He knew him well. He knew – or thought – that the security cameras were not working and that the manager was on vacation. What he never suspected is that just that week the consortium had repaired the video cameras and that the doorman had postponed his trip and saw him hanging around the building the days before the attack.

Corona killed Natalia’s father, his wife, and hired a butcher to help him hide the body

eating with the killer

On Sunday, January 22, the heat was intense in the City of Buenos Aires. After much insisting, Giselle Fernandez (38), the youngest of the businessman’s daughters, managed to get the technician from the building’s security cameras to come over to view them.

What they saw there would be the key to everything

Natalia felt a cold in her body. She did not get to see all the videos of her that she returned to her house to take care of her children. She sensed the worst and needed to protect them. Corona had prepared the food and that was when Giselle called her desperate.

Half the crime was filmed. The images were clear. Corona was recorded leaving the apartment, with the help of another person, carrying a “bundle” wrapped in blankets. The bloodstains could be seen with a clarity that made the scene between absurd and horrifying.

The cameras They took the victim’s son-in-law entering the building alone. Later, to Pedro Fernández Torres, a Paraguayan butcher who lived in Lomas de Zamora. Together they moved the body through the elevator. They hid it in a service room when they heard the neighbors and then continued carrying the body. They only covered their faces with a peaked cap, the rest was obvious. Everything was filmed.

With difficulty they got him into the trunk of a car it was parked in the garage. They escaped in the Suzuki Fun of Fernández Montes and They thought they had pulled off the perfect crime.

After spending 5 years on the run, the butcher was arrested in Paraguay

It was never known what happened inside the apartment, but everything would indicate that Corona killed Fernández Montes in the bathroom.

mechanical asphyxiation and stabbing, were some of the indications that came to be mentioned in the trial that sentenced the murderer to life. But the body, which appeared days later charred in Cañuelas, it was so deteriorated that the experts from the Forensic Medical Corps (CMF) could not determine the mechanics of the crime.

The detention

Natalia had to simulate more and better than ever. She asked her husband, with indecipherable integrity, to accompany her back to the police station with her children, who at that time were barely 1 and 2 years old. He waited outside while the Police prepared to arrest him.

They didn’t want him to escape, so they needed to hide any clues that might alert him to what was about to happen. While his then partner was looking for excuses to get away with his children, they arrested him.

Since then he spends his days in the jail. By December of that year, judges Fátima Ruiz López, Adrián Pérez Lance and Rafael Oliden, of the Buenos Aires Oral Criminal Court (TOC) No. 5, sentenced him to the maximum sentence

Before the crime, a million-dollar scam

Fernández Montes was Spanish. He lived in Buenos Aires and had ridden “Mini Vial”, dedicated to the rental of construction machinery. After some health problems, he entrusted the administration of his company to his son-in-law, who aspired to succeed him. But when he returned he found his project on the brink of bankruptcy.

In 2017, the year of the crime, Corona had been in a relationship with Natalia Fernández for more than 13 years

It all came to light when one of the machines broke down. As usual, the businessman called insurance for assistance. “They haven’t paid for months,” they replied to reject the service. The debts amounted to 700,000 pesos.

That was one of the mismanagements of Corona, which kept the accounts and dealt with the employees. His father-in-law gave him the money for the payments and he did not make them. The same with social security contributions and company expenses.

What came next was a audit that would prove the fraud: Fernández Montes threw him out and the fights began.

“Tell your old man to stop dirtying me because the one who is going to end up in jail is him”he wrote to Giselle, Natalia’s sister, when they began to tell what he had done in the company.

Natalia’s new life

Corona was not new to the family. By 2017, he had been in a relationship with Natalia Fernández for more than 13 years. He started working in the family business after the birth of his children. Fernández Montes gave him clothes and he used them ad nauseam. His mother-in-law would choose a favorite pizzeria and he would eat there non-stop. He started by driving a truck and later managed to gain everyone’s trust and manage the accounts.

The bond with his wife was increasingly violent ever since he had quarreled with his father, who had not been allowed to attend his grandson’s first birthday. So that Natalia would not visit him, Corona stole her keys and prevented her from leaving the building alone.

After Corona’s arrest, they found $20,000 that he would have stolen from his father-in-law’s house after the crime

She tried everything: she wanted to convince him to apologize and return the money to fix things. But she—she would find out later—he had it all figured out. Months before killing his father-in-law, Corona took out life insurance and put it in his wife’s name. From the crime scene he took documents and cash that he used to pay a hitman and return the money to his father, who supported him since Fernández Montes threw him out.

After the arrest, in the trunk of his car, They found an envelope with $20,000 that would have been stolen from his father-in-law’s house after the crime.

Now, as Natalia confided, to iProfessional, “He has no further influence over his children.” “Although he is their parent, he has no rights over them. He lost his parental responsibility”said.

Natalia Fernández rebuilt her life, studied ontological coaching and writes a book to explain how a person “can be captured by a psychopath”. There – he says – he will seek to guide “people who have gone through situations like this, who deal with psychopaths or narcissistic people, who try to devalue or generate such a dependency until they achieve their objective.”

He says that “he has to agree with justice”, although he suspects that there were more involved in the crime: “You cannot ask for much more, the two people who were seen on the cameras are detained. Somehow I have to be satisfied with Justice, there are cases that do not have this luck and somehow we have to settle for this. I believe that there were more people who were involved but who, due to lack of evidence or a good alibi, were left out. The two people who were seen in the video, Corona as the one who planned the murder, plus the person he hired, are detained.” is consoled.

The butcher, arrested after spending five years on the run

Santiago Corona was sentenced in December 2017 to the maximum penalty. her accomplice, Pedro Ramon Fernandez Torres, was a butcher from Lomas de Zamora. As verified in the first trial, Corona came to him thanks to a mechanic, Ricardo Cesar Arce Lopez, whom he met when he worked as a truck driver.

The security cameras of the building recorded all the movements after the crime

Arce reportedly contacted Fernández Torres, who was Paraguayan and helped him get rid of the car, which was found on fire in an open field in Almirante Brown. Y of the body, which he set on fire and discarded in Cañuelas.

The butcher, after the crime, escaped to Paraguayan. It took them five years to find him until in February of this year Interpol found him in the city of Concepción200 kilometers from Asunción.

Only in April did they manage to extradite him and he’s in jail in Argentina. The case against him is on trial and it is expected that by early 2023 be realized. From jail he asked to return to his country, to serve his sentence with his family. The request was denied: he also faces a possible penalty of life imprisonment

After the arrest, the businessman’s daughters told television channels: “Now we can close the circle and may our father rest in peace.”

Envy and a million-dollar scam: this was the crime of the Spanish businessman murdered by his son-in-law in Buenos Aires