Manhunt after medical student is beaten to death over $12

·2-min read

A 19-year-old medical student was beaten savagely to death by burglars in a friend's apartment before they fled with two mobile phones and just A$12 in cash.

Maria Agustina Fernandez was alone in Pablo Parra's flat in Cipolletti, Argentina, on July 2 after he popped out to the shops.

But while he was gone, local media reports say thieves forced their way inside and beat her brutally about the head.

Her heartbroken mum, Silvana Capello, told publications one of her daughter's hands was broken when she tried to shield herself.

Maria Agustina Fernandez, the student who was killed in Argentina, July 2022.
Maria Agustina Fernandez, a medical student, was robbed in her friend's apartment. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

The thieves escaped with ARS 1,000 (A$12) and the pair's phones.

Mr Parra, a 24-year-old oil worker, said that when he returned home he saw his friend convulsing on the floor and called for an ambulance.

The aspiring doctor was taken to Dr Pedro Moguillansky Hospital, where doctors tried to save her but she was declared brain dead on Tuesday.

At the time of reporting, her organs had been donated and her body was waiting to be transferred to her hometown of Santa Rosa, in La Pampa province.

The investigation into her death is being carried out in secrecy, but a judicial source told local media that Mr Parra is not considered a suspect.

"Although the main hypothesis being investigated is that of a robbery, other possible motives for the attack are not ruled out," the anonymous source said.

Maria Agustina Fernandez, the student who was killed in Argentina, July 2022.
Mr Parra, a 24-year-old oil worker, said that when he returned home he saw his friend convulsing on the floor. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Student dreamed of becoming a cardiologist

Some reports said they pair were more than just friends and had been in a relationship for a little over two months.

One factor that may hamper the investigation is that the CCTV camera near the entrance to the apartment block is broken.

At the time of reporting, investigators had found no eyewitnesses and no arrests had been made.

However, police forensic officers had gathered hairs, footprints and blood samples from the crime scene.

Maria had moved to Cipolletti in March to study at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of Comahue.

She dreamed of becoming a cardiologist.

Friends, family and activists have been demanding justice and the authorities have called on anyone with relevant information to get in touch.

Newsflash/Australscope

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