The baby girl of a pregnant woman was missing from her womb when she was found dead, a post-mortem has revealed.
The body of Thaysa Campos dos Santos, 23, was found in a stream beside a railway line in the neighbourhood of Deodoro in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in September last year.
The manicurist had been pregnant for eight months.
Recently-accessed documents reveal the woman's unborn baby girl was missing from her womb.
The post-mortem revealed the baby had not been surgically removed from the womb, implying she gave birth naturally.
Thaysa was separated from the father of her two children and the baby, due in October last year, was the result of a relationship with a married man.
The 23-year-old went missing on the night of September 3 and by the time her body was found on September 10, it was already in a state of putrefaction.
Relatives believe pregnant 23-year-old 'had forced birth'
According to Nelson Massini, professor of forensic medicine at Rio de Janeiro State University, the most likely scenario is the baby was kidnapped.
Thaysa may have gone into labour while she was being murdered, he said.
The victim's mother, educational psychologist Jaqueline Campos, said: "I believe that my granddaughter may be alive and that Thaysa had a forced birth.
"My relatives were at the crime scene and there was no trace of the child there, just Thaysa's body. I found out at the morgue that she had given birth.
"I want to make an appeal to the authorities: if this child is alive, I want my granddaughter back. I need my little granddaughter."
Thaysa was buried in the neighbourhood of Caju in Rio de Janeiro.
The investigation into her death and the possible whereabouts of her daughter continue.
No information has been revealed about possible suspects or motives for the crime at this time.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com