CATANIA – “I don’t remember what went through my mind when I hit my daughter”, he continued to repeat after having found the body of little Elena, in an abandoned field, not far from her house in Mascalucia. “On the contrary, I can say that no thought passed me, it was as if at that moment I was a different person”. However, she was left with a feeling: “When I hit Elena – she records – I had a strength that I had never felt before.” And then the fog returns: “I don’t remember the little girl’s reaction as I hit her, maybe she was still.”
At the end of a night of pressing questions in the barracks, Martina Patti he gave in. But not immediately. At dawn, she still claimed that her daughter had been kidnapped by three hooded men. Then, the carabinieri accompanied her home for an inspection by the Forensics Department. And she burst into tears. “I’ll take you to Elena,” she whispered to a marshal. The little body was there, inside five black sacks covered with earth and lava ash. While the carabinieri found a hoe and a shovel nearby, the coroner counted seven stab wounds: in the neck, in the ear, in the shoulder.
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“I don’t remember where I got the knife”
An hour later, in the barracks in Piazza Verga, the mother confessed. “It was the first time I took the child to that field – she said – some time ago I was there alone to plant asparagus”. And again: “I have the image of the knife, but I absolutely don’t remember where I got it.”
It is a dramatic story that a 24-year-old mother gives to the magistrates of the prosecutor’s office and the carabinieri, in the room there is also a lawyer appointed by the young woman’s family, the lawyer Gabriele Celesti. Martina Patti continues to say and not to say. “I don’t remember hurting the little girl – he repeats – I only remember crying a lot … Maybe I realized that the little girl was dead and I didn’t know what to do”.
Instead, he accurately describes the return home after kindergarten, Monday: “Elena wanted to eat a pudding, she had already had lunch at school, then she watched cartoons on my mobile phone. In the meantime I was ironing, in the evening we had to go to a friend family to celebrate the name day with my parents and the child was happy “. It doesn’t even sound like a mother’s confession about to kill her daughter. “Elena and I went out to go to my mother’s house, but then I removed everything, I just remember we went down the stairs and nothing else.”
There are still many things to clarify
The stairs leading to the abyss. “It was 2.30pm when we went out. I just remember going to that camp.” The investigators are actually not sure that the child was killed there, on the contrary they suspect that the murder took place in the house, which is now under seizure pending a new inspection by the Scientific Investigations Section. There are still many things to reconstruct in this story. But, in the meantime, the prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro and the vicar Marisa Scavo have signed a detention order for the woman: “The crime of premeditated multiple murder of her daughter is charged with”, explains the colonel Rino Coppola, the provincial commander of the carabinieri of Catania. “The woman, on the other hand, does not report the motive for her gesture, but from a series of elements we believe that it may be linked to a form of jealousy towards the current partner of the ex-partner; she did not tolerate that the child became attached to her”.
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The mother kept repeating that she was “confused”: “I don’t remember where I put the knife,” she said. She remembers instead of “having changed at home the clothes I wore when I was with the child; they weren’t stained with blood, I was stained only in my arms and I remember crying hard”.
Now, he is in prison, in solitary confinement. Supervised 24 hours a day. The prosecutors tried to investigate once again the motive that moved the mother. But she delivered only other doubts: “I don’t remember burying the baby, but it sure was me.” The only certainty: “The little girl suffered from coughing fits, but her cough didn’t bother me. On the contrary, I tried to help her.”
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