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Mexican prosecutor opens probe into woman's death in police custody, 4 arrests

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
One local judge and three local policemen have been arrested on suspicion of murdering Abigail Hay Urrutia. (Photo by Reuters)

The death of a young woman in police custody last week in Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca is being investigated and has led to multiple arrests, state prosecutors said in a statement late Wednesday.

One local judge and three local policemen had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Abigail Hay Urrutia, the Oaxaca attorney general's office said.

It comes as femicide rates in Mexico continue to soar, with 10 women a day killed on average.

Hay was found dead in her cell hours after being arrested, with officials at the time concluding she had committed suicide with a piece of her clothing.

Her family rejected the finding and demanded a second autopsy, which the state prosecutor said in a statement Tuesday had been consistent with the original finding that Hay had died from suffocation by hanging.

The statement said that a third autopsy had been ordered because Hay's family had expressed "reasonable doubts" about the previous proceedings, though it did not explain the basis for the arrests.

A source from the prosecutor's office told Reuters on Wednesday that the independent autopsy had already taken place and that the results were pending.

Videos of Hay's arrest circulated on social media following news of her death. She had reportedly been taken into custody last week after a public altercation.

The woman's father told local news outlet Milenio that his daughter had no motivation to kill herself, and had been enjoying life with her children.

(Source: Reuters)

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