Search for abandoned girl's mother turns up dead body in Pa. landfill

Friday, October 7, 2005

NEW YORK -- Police found a dead body in a Pennsylvania landfill Thursday and think it may be the mother of a 4-year-old girl found abandoned two weeks ago.

Valery Belen Saavedra Lozada was found wandering barefoot after dark in Queens on Sept. 24, and police had been searching for the mother, Monica Lozada-Rivadineira, ever since.

The search may have ended Thursday in Vintondale, Pa., where police found a body wrapped in black plastic bags. Police had been searching that landfill and another in Pennsylvania where New York's garbage is hauled.

Her companion, Cesar Ascarrunz, is being held without bail on charges of strangling her, dumping her body in a pile of trash and abandoning her daughter.

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