Murder of María Marta García Belsunce by Nicolás Pachelo examined on Crime Junkie

Maria Marta García Belsunce smiles in a family pic
The murder of María Marta García Belsunce remained unsolved for over 20 years. Pic credit: Family pic

Crime Junkie is investigating the murder of María Marta García Belsunce, who was murdered by her neighbor Nicolás Pachelo in the exclusive gated community of Carmel in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The murder of the wealthy 50-year-old sociologist María Marta stunned Argentina and remained unsolved for 21 years. For two decades, the case was surrounded by rumors and theories that led to accusations that her husband was the killer and of the involvement in the drug cartels.

On October 27, 2002, María Marta was found dead in her bathroom. The authorities initially ruled her death a tragic accident, believing she had slipped and bashed her head.

However, a 32-caliber bullet was later recovered from the home, which led to María Marta’s remains being exhumed. A new autopsy ruled she had been shot five times. The news caused a scandal due to the victim’s high profile and how her murder had initially been overlooked.

Over the next two decades, numerous people, including María Marta’s husband, Carlos Carrascosa, her brothers, friends, other family members, and even her masseuse, found themselves subject to intense police investigation.

In 2007, Carrascosa was charged with covering up the murder and was sentenced to five years. This charge was later upgraded to murder, and he was given a life sentence. The police accused him of killing his wife in a crime of passion. However, Carrascosa was acquitted following an appeal in 2016.

María Marta’s brother, Horacio García Belsunce, and her half-brother, John Hurtig, were also charged and convicted of covering up the homicide but were also subsequently acquitted.

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The investigation focused on Nicolás Pachelo as the killer

The investigation then changed to María Marta’s neighbor, Nicolás Pachelo, who already had a lengthy criminal record involving burglary in gated communities. The cops concluded that Pachelo had tried to rob María Marta’s home and had shot her when he realized she was at home.

Pachelo was spotted by two witnesses running toward María Marta’s home at the time of the murder. The data from two cellphone antennae also place Pachelo at the crime scene.

The killer claimed he was shopping with his mother at the time of the murder, and his lawyers even produced a receipt as proof.

Nicolás Pachelo convicted of killing María Marta García Belsunce

Pachelo has now faced three trials and convictions, followed by acquittals. In March 2024, the Supreme Court in Buenos Aires overturned the latest acquittal and ordered Pachelo to serve life in prison. However, he is entitled to appeal again.

Last week, Carlos Carrascosa told reporters that his wife had been unable to rest in peace, and the family had been persecuted, but he now hopes that justice can prevail.

MURDERED: María Marta García Belsunce Part 1 is available now on Crime Junkie.

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