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Woman Influenced by Papal Visit Turns in Mother for Father’s Murder With AM-Pope-Argentina

April 7, 1987

Woman Influenced by Papal Visit Turns in Mother for Father’s Murder With AM-Pope-Argentina Bjt

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ A woman influenced by Pope John Paul II’s recent visit told police her mother killed her father 10 years ago and she and her siblings helped bury the body, local newspapers said Tuesday.

The statement by Jimena Valdivia Silva, 23, led to the arrest of her 57- year-old mother, Benita Silva, for investigation of homicide, according to reports citing police sources.

″Upon hearing the messages of the pope, which impressed her, she decided to tell the truth,″ the Santiago daily, El Mercurio, quoted a policeman as saying. The pontiff ended a six-day tour of Chile on Monday.

The daughter turned herself in Sunday and told Santiago police detectives that her mother strangled her father with a rope in 1977 after years of abuse, the news reports said. With the help of her five children, she buried him in the backyard, according to the news accounts.

The newspaper reports said the mother confessed to the crime after police went to the house and dug up the victim’s remains.

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