MEXICO CITY (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 told local media late Wednesday.

The attorney general of Oaxaca state, Arturo Peimbert, said in an interview with a local radio station that one local judge and three local policemen had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Abigail Hay Urrutia.

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 yesterday had been consistent with the original finding that Hay had died from suffocation by hanging.

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The prosecutor told local news outlet Milenio Wednesday that a third and final autopsy has been ordered, and said he could not rule out more arrests. He did not elaborate on legal reasons for the third autopsy or the basis for arrests.

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 Milenio in a separate interview that his daughter had no motivation to kill herself, and had been enjoying life with her children.

(Reporting by Isabel Woodford and Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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