Joana Cipriano, the seven-year-old who mysteriously vanished from her Figueria home last September, was allegedly murdered in horrific fashion in order to conceal an incestuous act, unintentionally witnessed by the child, between her mother and uncle, prosecution lawyers have charged.
This is the conclusion that the attorney general’s office have revealed in a 200-page-long charge sheet.
According to the report, the child’s head had been repeatedly bashed against a wall, crushing her skull and causing the child’s death, her dead body then dismembered and frozen for some days before being thrown into a nearby pigsty to obscure evidence.
The motive, as had been previously suggested, was triggered after Joana unsuspectedly walked in on her mother and uncle’s incestuous act that was taking place in the family’s living room and threatened to tell her stepfather, António Leandro, with whom she lived and regarded as her father.
Recent investigations have also revealed that Joana could have been the victim of ongoing sexual abuse, committed by more than one individual, after traces of blood and semen were detected in items of the child’s underwear by current forensic investigations.