Missing teen's family protest outside suspected serial killer's lair

The family of a missing high school student who may have been the first victim of a suspected serial killer in Mexico City have protested at the site where bones were found last week.

The bones were discovered with the belongings of at least six women, police said, and Amairany Roblero's relatives have been told that evidence was found relating to her 2012 disappearance.

Ms Roblero was 18 when she vanished and, as is often the case in Mexico, her family was left to investigate her disappearance with little help from prosecutors.

Family friend Alejandra Jimenez said: "The prosecutors had the case file but they didn't ever give any results to her parents."

Instead, her parents printed flyers and gave them out near her school - the last place she was seen - but they had "nothing, nowhere to start, nor any directions to the end", Ms Jimenez added.

A suspect, identified only by his first name, Miguel, was detained by neighbours and police last week after he is alleged to have killed a seventh young woman.

He is accused of waiting for a woman to leave her apartment and then rushing inside to sexually abuse and strangle her 17-year-old daughter.

The woman returned to the apartment to see the suspect leaving and she was slashed across her neck before he ran off.

She survived but her daughter died.

Investigators searched a room rented by the suspect and found bones, mobile phones and ID cards belonging to several women in the same block, thought to be mementos.

Miguel is awaiting trial on charges of murder and attempted murder relating to the most recent victims.

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City prosecutor Ulises Lara insisted the suspect was difficult to catch because "he showed no signs of violent or aggressive behaviour in his daily life".

Ms Roblero's family and friends were not accepting this, however.

"They (authorities) have all the means to look for missing people," Ms Jimenez said. "Instead of focusing on their political campaigns, they should help all the women who are looking for their children."

Juan Carlos Gutierrez, a lawyer representing the family of another victim, was also frustrated, asking why no investigation had never been launched in that case, despite missing person reports being filed in 2015.

Ms Jimenez said Ms Roblero's family had not been told which of the items or remains in the apartment had been linked to her, adding: "This is wearing her parents down physically, mentally."

Some 2,580 women were murdered in Mexico in 2023, according to the country's National Public Security System but poorly funded and badly trained prosecutors have failed to stop serial killers over the years.

In 2021 a serial killer in Mexico City killed 19 people but their bodies were only found, buried at his house, after the wife of a police commander became one of the victims.

In 2018 another serial killer in Mexico City murdered at least 10 women and was only stopped after he was seen pushing a dismembered body down the street in a pram.