Rosimar Rodríguez was kidnapped last Thursday, Sept. 17 in the Sabana Seca neighborhood of Toa Baja in Puerto Rico and authorities have now confirmed her body was found. The 20-year-old was forced into a white van by unidentified individuals in front of her home. Her disappearance and subsequent murder are indicative of a disturbing pattern of violence against women in Puerto Rico. As a result of the death and publicity surrounding Rosimar Rodríguez, the Public Safety Committee of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives announced an investigation last week to look into the disproportionate number of women who’ve disappeared in the last nine months, the San Juan Daily Star reports.
“The goal of this investigation is to identify exactly the number of people who have been designated as missing in Puerto Rico this year, as well as in the past five years, and particularly women, in order to focus all available resources, not only those of the Police Bureau but also of the municipal police and federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI),” Mas Rodríguez said in a statement. “The House has been very active in the search for real and viable solutions during this four-year term and we will continue to do so; that is why we are going to investigate this situation in depth and detail.”
Authorities have interviewed more than 10 people in connection to the disappearance of Rosimar Rodríguez. Her body was found on the shores of the PR-165 highway in the El Caracol sector, in Dorado. The remains were located about 100 to 150 feet from the side of the road where bullet shells were recovered as evidence through confidences.
“It is a death that is not natural and will be investigated by prosecutors and law enforcement officers,” Commissioner of the Bureau of Forensic Sciences María Conte Miller said, Univision reports. The official cause of death was not revealed as the investigation is ongoing.
A witness told police that a man with a dark complexion, approximately 5 feet six inches tall, forcibly pushed Rodríguez into a white Suzuki vehicle, the San Juan Daily Star reports. Rodríguez was wearing a gray shirt, blue denim, and red and white sports shoes. Due to the decomposition of the body dental records were used to identify her and no information was released as to how long authorities estimate she’d been dead.
From January to Aug. 30, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau received 109 reports of missing women, of which 103 have been located to date, and 107 missing children between the ages of 13 and 17, of which 97 have been located. Meanwhile, of the 21 women reported missing this year, nine have yet to be located, the San Juan Daily Star reports.