The Asunta Case is a crime thriller series based on the true story of Asunta Basterra’s murder.

Created by Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, Jon de la Cuesta and David Orea Arribas, the Netflix series follows the investigation into the death of 12-year-old Asunta Basterra, who was found dead on September 22, 2013 on a road in Galicia, Spain.

Her body was discovered shortly after her adoptive parents, Rosario Porto and Alfonso Basterra, reported her missing to police hours prior. A few days later on September 24 and 25 respectively, both Porto and Basterra were arrested in connection to Asunta’s death.

The series explores the investigation into Porto and Basterra, who are played by Candela Peña and Tristán Ulloa respectively.

What happened to Asunta Basterra?

Asunta Basterra was reported missing by her parents Rosario Porto and Alfonso Basterra, who were divorced at the time, on Saturday, 21 September 2013. Porto told police Asunta was at her apartment doing homework while she left to visit the family’s country home in Teo. When Porto returned at 9.30pm, Asunta was nowhere to be seen.

After reporting the disappearance, Asunta’s body was found hours later the next day in Teo, Galicia, Spain. A coroner later ruled that Asunta had died of asphyxiation, and had been given at least 27 Lorazepam pills on the day of her death. This is nine times more than the high dosage amount for an adult.


What happened to Asunta’s parents?

After police found CCTV footage which contradicted her story regarding the night of Asunta’s disappearance, Rosario Porto was arrested on September 24, 2013. A day later, Alfonso Basterra was also arrested.

The pair were put on trial in October 2015, where a jury found both Porto and Basterra guilty of the murder of their adopted daughter. The jury determined Asunta had been smothered at the Teo country house, before her body was dumped on the country road. A judge sentenced them both to 18 years in prison for aggravated murder with aggravating circumstances of kinship and abuse of authority.

This verdict was later amended in May 2016 as it could not be proven that Basterra was in Porto’s car when she travelled to Teo to dump Asunta’s body. The High Court of Justice of Galicia maintained that Basterra had planned and collaborated in the murder, but that Porto had caused the asphyxiation. The 18-year sentence for both parents, who maintained their innocence, was upheld – with numerous appeals dismissed by the courts.

The Asunta Case
‘The Asunta Case’. CREDIT: Netflix

While in prison, Porto attempted suicide on two occasions. In November 2017, she was admitted to the prison infirmary for deep depression. Porto later died by suicide while in prison on November 18 2020.

Basterra is serving his 18-year sentence in Teixeiro prison in Spain. In 2017, prior to Porto’s death, Basterra sent a letter to producers of the Spanish documentary series Lo que la verdad esconde: Caso Asunta, which covered the case in detail.

“When I regain my freedom, I have the firm intention of disappearing, no one will hear from me again, not even Rosario Porto,” the letter read.

“I have only one reason to stay alive, which is none other than to be a free man again and reunite with my girl, never before. In fact, I have already thought about the how and where. I just need the when, but everything comes.”

What happens at the end of the Netflix series?

The final episode of The Asunta Case shows how the jury came to the decision to convict Porto and Basterra, before outlining the fate of both parents.

The Netflix series, however, emphasises how a clear motive has never been established for Porto and Basterra to kill their daughter, leading some to question the trial’s verdict. Both parents have maintained their innocence throughout.

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