The mother of three girls who died within three years was detained by men of the Security Division of Attica on Wednesday afternoon. 33-year-old Roula Pispirigou was transferred from Patras, in western Peloponnese to the Police Headquarters in Athens where her detention turned into arrest.
Pispirigou is being prosecuted for murder of her 9-year-old daughter Georgina who died end of January, while the girl was hospitalized in the Greek capital Athens. The girl was the third child of the family to die in the time from 2019 until 2022. The first girl to have died was Malena, 3.5 years old, and 6-month-old Iris in 2021.
Police investigation was launched on February 11 after the medically unexplained deaths of the three siblings (KTG reported in details here) called on the prosecutor’s intervention.
A thorough forensic examination including histological and toxicological analysis detected the substance ketamine in the body of Georgina. Police investigation that questioned several hospital doctors and nurses resulted into the conclusion that none of them had administered this substance to the girl that is normally used by veterinarians to sedate cats.
The mother, who had some training as a nurse, was the only person in the girl’s hospital room on 24/7 basis.
According to state broadcaster ERT, the arrest refers to the death of Giorgina as substance cetamine was found in her body following a thorough laboratory examination.
Eyewitnesses told media that the mother left her house holding many folders and got into the Security car.
Police investigation is expected to deepen regarding the deaths of the other two daughters of the family.
Pispirigou is reportedly to be interrogated for as long as it takes .. until she admits to the crime, reveals how she acquired the substance as well as her motive.
There is no arrest warrant for the father of the three girls, media report.
Ketamine in Georgina’s blood
The prosecution was instituted as a substance that was not included in the medication was found during the toxicological examinations. It is the substance ketamine, a very powerful anesthetic used in veterinary medicine.
According to information of Star TV, it was “6mg of ketamine per liter blood” found in the body of Georgina.
“A large dose can kill in a few minutes,” said medical examiner Charalambos Koutsis, speaking to media on Wednesday.
He added that a “7mg/l blood can be lethal for an adult.”
Ketamine is a rapid-acting general anesthetic that blocks NMDA (N-methyl d-aspartate) receptors and may interact with sigma receptors. It can be taken either by nose or mouth and is available in liquid form or as a white powder. In small doses, it can also be given as an antidepressant.
Ketamine is reportedly used as an anesthetic by veterinarians in animal surgeries, especially cats. It is a substance that can not be found in the pharmacy, but in veterinary drugstores, which usually do not ask for a prescription.
Ketamine can also be given intramuscularly rather than intravenously.
Society angry and in shock
The deaths of the three girls has shocked the Greek society and filled many hours of television magazines. The mother but also the father as well as their relatives appeared on TV shows and gave interviews on “the tragedy that had hit the young family.”
On social media, the majority of Greeks were certain that the mother had killed the children and thus every time the husband was about or already had left home, even to have filled for divorce.
According to local media tempo24, even before the mother was arrested today a crowd of people gathered outside the family home in Patras, demanding Justice for the three girls.
“If she indeed killed the girls, she should be hanged,” an angry woman told Star TV.
Crowd chanting “Shame! Shame!” outside the girls’ family home.
According to latest information the crowd is growing bigger by the hour and it calls the family’s relatives to come out.
No police has been deployed in the area to protect the relatives.
Does the Lynch mob want to kill the relatives too?