The body of a missing student has been found two weeks after she was abandoned by a taxi driver on the side of the road.
Debanhi Escobar had been snapped standing alone on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road leading into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, earlier this month.
The eerie image, showing the 18-year-old law undergraduate on ‘Death Road’, went viral in the days before her body was discovered in the cistern of an abandoned motel.
Debanhi had been on a night out with two pals when she got into a roadside cab with a driver, identified only as Jesus, aged 47.
He is understood to have been trusted by the group, but for reasons currently unclear he dumped her near the border with the US at around 6 am on April 9.
It is believed the pair had become embroiled in a row.
A photo of Debanhi standing on Death Road after being stranded went viral ( Image: Instagram)
After a 13-day search, her dad Mario Escobar confirmed that the body of a young woman found on the site of Nueva Castilla motel, a few hundred metres from where Debanhi had been pictured, was his daughter.
However, the local authorities have yet to confirm the match and DNA tests are currently ongoing.
On Friday morning, a team of divers found the body in the cistern at a depth of about four metres.
The victim’s father said: “My daughter is dead and I do not know what to do.
“I demand to know why Debanhi disappeared.”
News of the teenager’s disappearance gripped Mexico after the photo of her standing by the roadside after getting out of the taxi was widely shared by local media.
The photo was reportedly taken by the cab driver and was sent to the victim’s friends when they asked him about her whereabouts.
In 2021, 77 people disappeared on ‘Death Road’ where Debanhi was last seen.
CCTV cameras filmed Debanhi entering the site of the trucking company Alcosa Transportes Internacionales just after the cabbie left her stranded.
She was reported as missing the next morning.
Footage reportedly shows her entering the company premises, but no footage shows her leaving.
Her body was found in the motel cistern nearby, between 300 and 500 metres from where she was photographed on the side of the road.
According to local reports, the driver, booked by one of the victim’s friends, had his phone switched off during the trip.
He has since been arrested on drugs charges but the police also suspect him of being linked to the young woman’s death.
Local media said the taxi driver has been investigated for the attempted kidnapping of women and harassment in the past.
The investigation continues.
According to the National Missing Persons Commission, seven women are reported as missing in Mexico every day.