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Paulette Gebara, buried in her own bed

Paulette Gebara disappeared from her own room. After nine days, her body was found in the space under the wooden bed.

Paulette Gebara Farah was born on July 20, 2005 in Mexico. Daughter of Mauricio Gebara and Lizette Farah, at the time of the case the girl was 4 years old and had a disability that hindered her growth, speech, and mobility.

She was smaller than other children her age, had difficulty walking on her own, and spoke very few words, unable to formulate complete sentences. Paulette Gebara had an older sister, 7 years old, and the family had two nannies to help with the girls.

Family Trip

On March 19, 2010, Paulette and her sister traveled with their father to Valle de Bravo, a city still in Mexico, about a two-hour drive from Huixquilucan, the city where they lived.

On that occasion, Lizette Farah, the girls’ mother, did not travel with them. She claimed she would travel with a friend, a fact that was later debunked, revealing an extramarital relationship she was having with another man.

Lizette Farah and Mauricio Gebara. / Photo: Reproduction.

Everyone returned home on Sunday, March 21, 2010. Before bedtime, Lizette used to tuck the girls in and wish them good night, and that day was no different.

Paulette Disappears

The sisters, Ericka and Martha Casimiro, were the girls’ nannies. On the morning of March 22, 2010, they arrived at the Gebara residence and as usual, they woke up the older sister who was already of school age.

Paulette’s sister, also named Lizette like their mother, was prepared for school by the nannies and around 8 am, they put her on the school bus. Once they returned inside the apartment, they woke up Paulette.

Upon entering the room, the nannies didn’t find anyone. Paulette had difficulties walking on her own, so they checked closets, under the bed, and other rooms in the residence. Paulette was not found, and the nannies contacted the parents.

Paulette Gebara’s room. / Photo: Reproduction.

Strangely, upon receiving the news that Paulette was missing, the Gebara couple remained calm and rational. This attitude is noteworthy, as it was their daughter who was missing.

Millionaire Searches

After the call, the nannies began searching for Paulette within the condominium premises. The parents didn’t seem urgent to call the police; it was one of the girl’s aunts who alerted the authorities.

Investigators were dispatched to the location and examined the residence. There were no signs of a struggle, missing belongings, or forced entry; everything seemed intact. There were also no records on security cameras showing a stranger entering or Paulette leaving.

The police released posters with photos and characteristics of Paulette. The aunt shared posts on social media drawing attention to the girl’s disappearance.

The Gebara family was well-off financially and had influential contacts. The couple quickly reached out to major news channels, and billboards with Paulette’s face were displayed throughout Mexico.

Billboard announcing the disappearance of Paulette Gebara. / Photo: Reproduction.

The mother, Lizette Gebara, gave multiple interviews on television channels, and authorities were expecting someone to call asking for ransom for Paulette’s kidnapping, something that never happened.

The location where the family lived was quite secure, with security cameras at all entrances and hallways. It was practically impossible for an outsider to enter unnoticed.

Suspicious Circumstances

On March 27, 2010, Lizette Gebara gives another television interview. This time everything would be filmed at the family’s house, specifically in the girl’s room.

During the filming, the mother pleads for her daughter’s return and displays the girl’s belongings. Among the clothes she takes from the closet and shows to the camera is a reindeer pajama, keep this detail in mind.

On March 31, around 2 a.m., Paulette’s remains were found in her room. Nine days after her disappearance, the police found Paulette’s body in a narrow gap between the mattress and the wooden bed frame.

Representation of how Paulette Gebara’s body was found. / Photo: Reproduction.

It was quite strange that the body was only discovered at this point, as the police had checked Paulette’s room five times, some of which involved the use of sniffer dogs.

Four days earlier, during the interview given by the mother at the location, no one noticed anything strange and didn’t even detect any unusual odor. If the body had been there from the beginning, a characteristic odor would have been noticeable.

In addition, family members stayed at the Gebara residence and slept in Paulette’s bed to help with the search, and they still didn’t notice anything unusual. The two nannies also claimed that they changed the bed sheets without realizing Paulette was there.

Investigation and Autopsy

The story didn’t add up. For the police, it was clearly a case of homicide, and according to investigators, the body had been there for about three days, not nine as the parents claimed.

The family’s lawyers supported the theory that Paulette died of mechanical asphyxiation due to the obstruction of the nasal cavities and thoracoabdominal compression.

In short, they claimed that Paulette accidentally blocked her airways with a cloth or sheet and, due to her physical and speech limitations, couldn’t ask for help. The explanation for the location where the body was found was that she might have rolled to the foot of the bed and fallen into the wooden gap.

Highlight in the photo indicates the gap where Paulette’s body was found. / Photo: Reproduction.

The autopsy revealed that Paulette slept with an “orthopedic cloth” over her mouth, which was placed there every night to prevent her from sleeping with her mouth open. The autopsy report also confirmed that her body had not been manipulated after death.

Signs of bruising on the left elbow and knee were found. However, the official conclusions did not indicate signs of physical or sexual violence, as the marks could have been caused by the fall into the wooden gap.

The report also stated that there were no traces of drugs or toxic substances in the body that could have affected the girl’s consciousness. The conclusion was that Paulette moved in her bed and accidentally fell headfirst into a gap at the foot of her bed, where she died of asphyxiation and remained unnoticed for nine days.

Paulette Gebara’s Pajamas

Paulette was found dressed in a blue and red reindeer pajama, the same pajama shown by her mother four days earlier during a television interview.

In the photo, Lizette shows an identical pajama to the one her daughter was wearing when found. / Photo: Reproduction.

After this discovery came to light, the television network aired the unedited footage, including all the preparation before the interview. While Lizette Farah and the interviewing reporter examine various items belonging to Paulette, the above-mentioned pajama appears.

When questioned about them, Lizette Farah stated that the pajamas belong to Paulette’s sister, but for some unexplained reason, they were stored among the girl’s things and were shown by the mother as belonging to Paulette.

The authorities were never informed by the family that they had a second identical pajama to the one the girl was wearing at the time of her disappearance. From the moment the body was found, the alleged second pajama was never seen again.

Case Conclusion

Paulette Gebara’s parents were not criminally indicted, as the investigation was able to prove that Paulette died accidentally. The couple did not have a good relationship; in some interviews, they attacked each other and contradicted their stories.

Paulette Gebara. / Photo: Reproduction.

On one occasion, while in front of the cameras, Lizette Gebara said something like “even though Paulette has disappeared, I still have another daughter.” Her statement did not sit well with the public and only served to generate more speculation about the parents’ involvement in the case.

On April 6, Paulette’s body was buried at the Panteón Francés de San Joaquín cemetery in Mexico City. The funeral procession was led by Lizette Farah without the presence of any members from Mauricio Gebara’s family due to an “agreement.”

Seven years later, on May 3, 2017, Paulette’s body was exhumed and cremated, as the authorities considered her remains were no longer objects of proof for the investigation of the case.

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