Paulette Gebara Farah, The Mexican JonBenet

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Paulette was an adorable 4 year old little girl who was initially believed to have gone missing from her bed on Sunday, March 21st of 2010; eventually it was determined that she’d been in her bed the entire time. This case is highly controversial and is often compared to JonBenet Ramsey, and it is just as frustrating – perhaps even more so. I would love to hear your opinion on it. That said, Please beware that this article does include the very upsetting crime scene photos; if this may upset you, it may be for the best that you back away now.

Paulette had been disabled, she’d been born very premature, approximately 25 weeks; at birth the doctors said that she’d never survive, but Paulette proved them all wrong. When she continued to live, they claimed that she’d never walk, she’d never talk, but at 4 years of age Paulette was taking steps with assistance, and she was verbalizing simple words such as Mama. Though the miracle child was doing everything they all said could never be done, she did it with assistance. She was a beautiful, cheerful little girl adored by all, but she required constant attention, caring for her was a lot of work.

So just before Paulette went missing, the family had gone on vacation. Lizette Farah, Paulette’s mama, had gone to Los Cabos with a “friend” while her husband, Mauricio Gebara, their 7 year old daughter, Lizette Jr, and 4 year old Paulette went to Valle de Bravo instead. The family all arrived home at their apartment in Huixquilucan, Mexico that Sunday; father and his daughters made it in sometime around 9pm. Little Paulette was put to bed by her mother; this included strategically placing pillows around Paulette, to keep the child from rolling around too much at night, and snugly tucking in blankets.

The very next morning the family’s maids/nannies, two sisters, went about business as usual. They awoke 7 year old Lizette Jr and got her off to school before getting little Paulette up. When the sisters entered the child’s bedroom at approximately 8 am, they found the girl’s large bed to be empty.

Photo from Facebook

The sisters frantically searched for the child, they looked everywhere: through the closets, in the bathroom, they lifted the mattresses of Paulette’s bed up to search in between, they walked through the entire building, the sisters swear that they’d left no stone unturned. When the panicked sisters did not find Paulette, they informed the parents that their child was gone.

Parents Lizette and Mauricio,
Photo from Facebook

Though Paulette’s parents claimed to have immediately searched for their daughter, the nannies would later say that this was a big fat lie; it’s recounted that mother sat at the table calmly drinking her coffee and smoking as usual. Paulette’s parents had not even bothered to call the police – Mauricio’s sister did. The father had called to inform her of the situation, she decided police needed to be involved, and took it upon herself to notify the authorities.

Throughout the ordeal it’s said that 100 officials searched the entire premesis, sniffer dogs were even brought in to search for the child! Investigators determined that no one had been in the home – there had been no struggle, there was nothing out of place, no evidence of any intruder, and it was completely impossible that this child had gone anywhere on her own. It’s not like this baby got out of that bed on her own and walked away, that would’ve been absolutely impossible as Paulette needed assistance to walk.

Photo from the San Diego Union Tribune

Paulette’s disappearance was a really big deal, the entire country was captivated by the beautiful little girl who’d beaten all of the odds. Billboards were erected, and Paulette was posted all over social media. Tragically the case was terribly mismanaged by police; the first thing to be done in a case like this is to secure the crime scene thereby preserving potential evidence, literally everyone knows this. Just a few days after the disappearance Lizette opened her home to the media and just about anyone else who had wanted to come inside; the mother sat at the foot of her missing daughter’s bed and gave numerous video interviews – hell at one point a friend of Lizette’s had slept in the bed which Paulette had gone missing from! One source claimed that 1,000 people had been permitted to trounce around this crime scene!

Photo from the Mexico Gulf Reporter

On March 30th Lizette, Mauricio, and the Nannies were picked up and interrogated by police; Lizette blamed her husband for their daughter’s death, and father blamed his wife and/or the nannies. Mauricio is said to have stated, “Yes, I know where Paulette is, and I’ll tell you everything only if you help me, because I don’t want to get into any trouble with the law. I’m scared of going to jail. I’m desperate.”.

On March 31st, after more than a week of this circus, a very strong odor was noticed coming from Paulette’s bedroom. Police searched again, and this time they finally found Paulette. The child had been at the foot of her own bed, wrapped in bodily fluid soaked linens, trapped in the space between the mattress and the bed frame. Again, if you don’t want to see the photos, you may want to back out now.

Photo from Facebook

After finding Paulette’s body, police initially announced it to be a homicide. So many people had been inside the home, multiple detectives had thoroughly checked the bed, the nannies were absolutely adamant that they had searched in between the mattresses, and police had watched as the nannies demonstrated how they had made the bed that morning! How could this baby have been there all along without anyone finding her, without even the sniffer dogs finding her? How could she have even gotten to the bottom of the bed like that? None of it made any sense!

Photo from Facebook

The coroner said that the child died from asphyxia by obstruction of the nasal cavities and thorax-abdominal compression; the time of Paulette’s death changed a couple of times. Then, for whatever reason, authorities simply changed their minds; they said it had been an accidental death. On April 6th Paulette was buried at Panteón Frances cemetery in Mexico City; it may be important to note that none of the paternal family attended the funeral.

Photo from the San Diego Union Tribune
Photo from find a grave

So there are a few theories here. Most seem to place the blame on Paulette’s parents, mainly Lizette; it’s said that mother had killed her child, either by accident or on purpose, and the whole thing was covered up. Father Mauricio was well off; he’s a very influential man from a good family, with friends in high places. It’s surmised that this had very much to do with Paulette’s death suddenly being deemed as accidental.

Could Paulette have been here all this time, undetected?
Photo from the San Diego Union Tribune

A little background on Mother Lizette: the woman suffers from a “personality disorder” in which she’s incapable of showing any sort of empathy or emotion, and the comments she made! She claimed that aliens must’ve abducted Paulette, then at one point she told her 7 year old daughter not to talk about her little sister’s disappearance because people would think they were guilty of doing something to her – that little interaction was caught on tape. Lizette also stated that if she lost Paulette it would be okay because she still has another daughter. Now, maybe all of this was just the woman’s way of getting through, a coping mechanism – everyone grieves differently, but as a parent it is so very difficult to justify those words.

Photo from twitter

If the parents had intentionally murdered Paulette, the motive may have been financial. The family was well to do, but this child was in need of constant attention; she required pricy medications, multiple doctors, nannies, and continuous physical therapy. Without that expensive therapy the child would would have regressed. This absolutely was financially draining on the family, they were drowning in debt. It also appears that there had been problems within the marriage, and many believe that Lizette has been seeing another man; the mother is said to have been on vacation with her lover just before Paulette lost her life. Another strange fact: the pajamas which Paulette would ultimately be found wearing were shown during a television interview days before the baby’s corpse was discovered.

Photo from the Mexico Gulf Reporter

Paulette’s parents blame everyone but themselves for their daughter’s death, including the nannies. The nannies have said it was definitely the parents who killed her, and the public has their own ideas. One common belief is that the parents may have hidden little Paulette somewhere (maybe in an apartment air duct) that morning, that they’d planned to say their daughter had been kidnapped in a plot to extort money from their wealthy family. They didn’t expect this case to blow up the way it did, and were unable to rescue Paulette in time. Another belief is that mother and father had fought that Sunday night, which caused Paulette to become loud; it’s thought that 7 year old Lizette Jr may have attempted to quiet her little sister, and accidentally suffocated her. There’s no proof of this, I’m only telling you what the leading theories are. Others say that there was no crime here at all, the child had been in her bed the entire time, she got in that position on her own, and somehow everyone missed her.

Photo from LA Times

Whatever truly happened here, your guess is as good as mine. If it was murder, whether accidental or otherwise (and general consensus says that it was) it’s sadly safe to say that the killer or killers will forever get away with it. The case is completely closed, in 2017 Paulette’s parents exhumed her little body, and she’s since been cremated. There will never be any real answers, there will never be any sort of justice served for little Paulette Gebara Farah.

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