A woman who went missing on her way to a job interview has been found alive in a forest after seven days.
Diana Pena left her home in Mexico City by car on April 24 but never arrived at her appointment. After an extensive search, the 33-year-old was miraculously found a week later, extremely distressed and dehydrated in woodlands in Santa Maria Ahuacatitlan — 64 kilometres from where she disappeared.
A touching photo taken just moments after she was rescued shows Ms Pena hugging her brother while wrapped in a blanket. In the image, which emerged on social media, a woman can also be seen caressing her hair as a police officer stands nearby.
Police, who believe Ms Pena could have been drugged and sexually assaulted, say the 33-year-old was in a "worrying state" in the very remote location when she was found by soldiers drafted for the search.
Mum has no memory of what happened
She was unable to tell officers where she had been and had no memory of what had happened to her. The last thing she recalls, local media reports, was a man approaching her car and telling her she had a flat tyre.
Police are investigating if she was heavily drugged and abused, and Ms Pena is undergoing physical examinations in hospital. Her family raised the alarm when she failed to collect her daughter from school on the day she vanished. Then they discovered the mum had not even turned up to her job interview.
Police later found her car abandoned in the middle of the road with the windows open. They say they have not ruled out any line of inquiry. So far, there have been no arrests in connection with the case. The investigation is ongoing.
Killings of women have increased in recent years in Mexico, rising from 977 cases in 2020 to 1,015 in 2021. And those were just cases classified as "feminicides" a legal term used in Mexico when women are killed because of their gender. Killings of women overall are much higher.
Newsflash/Australscope with AP
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