The story of Paulette Gebara. The Mexican JonBenèt Ramsey.

In 2019 a true-crime series was released on Netflix called "The Search". The six-episode series focuses on a kidnapping that occurred in Mexico City. The series follows the real-life case of Paulette Gebara. A case that has unfortunately turned cold.

Watch the series on Netflix

Scene from "The Search"
Source: Netflix

Paulette Gebara Farah is commonly referred to as the Mexican JonBenèt Ramsey.

Paulette was a four-year-old Mexican girl, with a physical disability and a speech disorder due to the fact that she was born prematurely at just 25 weeks and had a weight of just 800 grams.

Initially, doctors didn't even believe she would survive but Paulette was a fighter, and she surprised everyone. With intense horse therapy, she was able to gain some movement, but this movement was still very limited, as she couldn't walk freely.

Paulette Gabara Farah
Paulette Gabara Farah | Source: Google

Paulette lived in Huixquilucan, Mexico, with her mother Lisette Farah, her father Mauricio Gebara, and her older sister Lizette Gebara Farah,(the girl was named after her mother, it can get quite confusing).

Lisette Farah and Maurice Gebara
Lisette Farah and Maurice Gebara | Source:

The family also had two nannies, sisters themselves, Erika and Martha Casimiro.

Erica and Martha Casmiro
Erika and Martha Casmiro | Source: latimesblogs


Sources say that on the night of Sunday (21st of March 2010), Paulette, Lizette (Paulette's sister), and their father Mauricio returned home from "Valle de Bravo", where the girls' mother Lizette was waiting for them to put the girls to bed. This is believed to be the truth. So far so good, everyone is in agreement.

However, the next morning (March 22nd) one of the two nannies, Erika, went to wake Paulette up for school, while the other nanny, Martha, was taking her sister to school. Erika was shocked when she couldn't locate Paulette, so she alerted the parents. Paulette's father Mauricio chose to call his sister to inform her that his disabled daughter could not be located, in turn, Paulette's aunt notified the police about the missing child.

Also keep in mind, that from what I've read and watched Mauricio's sister had some form of relationship with General attorney Alberto Bazbaz. What was the nature of their relationship? I couldn't find out but I think it is relevant to the case.

It is said that neither parent showed much concern about their missing daughter. After checking the doors, windows, and CCTV footage, there was no sign that anyone had entered the building and kidnapped the young girl or that she had somehow managed to leave the property. Paulette could not leave by herself anyway due to her motor skills disability.

Poster for missing Paulette Gebara
Source: Google images

That afternoon the Attorney general of the state of Mexico released a photo of Paulette and gave information about her age, size, and physical disabilities. Paulette's aunt, Arlette Farah, then emailed and uploaded the girl's pictures to all social networks. This quickly drew in a lot of attention from news outlets. Later that same day, Lizette Farah made an appeal on the evening news to the alleged abductors to return the child, saying that they could take her to a shopping center or a crowded place so that she could be found and that in return there would be no reprisal.

Mauricio also made an appeal, asking for his daughter to be returned, and stated that he was at work on the morning of the 22nd when Paulette disappeared But this wasn't the case as he was the one who contacted the aunt about the child being missing. Why would he lie about where he was? Was it an honest mistake or was he trying to hide something?

On the 29th March 2010, the Attorney General made an announcement that Mauricio Gebara, Lizette Farah, Erika, and Martha Casimiro would be placed under a restriction order due to inconsistencies in their stories. All 4 of them were made to stay at a hotel while police did their investigations. The announcement went as follows...

"Each one of them at a certain moment has falsified their statements, which has made it difficult to know the truth of the facts and clarify a firm line of investigation".

Paulette is home

Paulette Gebara's bedroom
Paulette's bedroom | Source: Netflix

On the 30th of March 2010, at around 2:00 am, Paulette's body was found in her own bedroom. A video of the investigators finding Paulette's body was leaked to the public, in the video, you hear one officer saying...

"She was severely beaten"

This was later refuted by General attorney Alberto Bazbaz. The cause of death was announced as "mechanical asphyxiation due to obstruction of the nasal cavities and thorax-abdominal compression"

(I do have this video but I will not be sharing the link as it's graphic but if you do want to see it, it's not hard to find but the audio is in Spanish)

Her body was found wrapped in sheets between the mattress and the foot of the bed, the same room where her mother had offered interviews and that had been searched by experts from various agencies.

Paulette's body
Paulette's body | Source: Emaze

The nannies had also allegedly made this very same bed in a "hotel-style way, tucking the blanks in at the bottom corners (so mere inches from the girl) also let's not forget the utilization of search and rescue dogs. The body was discovered on 31 March due to the smell of purification.

Source: Emaze

The autopsy revealed Paulette slept with an "orthopedic cloth" over her mouth to prevent her from sleeping with her mouth open. Also, she excessively sucked her fingers and hands until the skin was red, cracked, bloody, and very sore. The autopsy stated that there were no signs of any kind of sexual or physical abuse. It was concluded that Paulette had died between 5 to 9 days prior to her being found. Then where was she for the missing 4 days?

Paulette's nannies, Erika and Martha Casimiro insisted that the girl's body was not under her mattress at the time she was reported missing, with Martha stating:

"I looked in the bathroom, under the bed, and in the closet. I saw that she was not there, and I also went into the bedroom of the lady to look for her, to the bedroom of the other girl [this refers to the room of Paulette's older sister, 7-year-old Lizette], and from there we started looking for her again. And I went back to look for her in the bedroom"

and Erika stating:

"In fact, if it had been like that, I think we would have noticed since thousands of people came to look for her, the bed was made, I never saw the mattress pulled back, I did not see a bundle or anything, it does not make sense to me that the body could have been there since Monday"

Close family friend Amanda de la Rosa

Amanda De La Rosa
Amanda De La Rosa | Source: Instagram

A close friend of Lizette Farah, Amanda de la Rosa, was allowed to live in the Gebara's house for several days immediately following the girl's disappearance. De la Rosa slept in Paulette's room which was not secured by the authorities. In the time she spent in the house, the bed was made on a daily basis, and nobody noticed the girl's body or the bloody stains on the sheets as they appear on the forensic video.

As a result, Amanda was also investigated as a possible suspect, but no charges were filed. At the end of the investigation, she wrote a book titled "Where's Paulette?" narrating the events from her personal perspective questioning the discrepancies between the facts and the authorities' statements.


So far the story is quite complicated so let's make a breakdown of what we know.

Forensics video

Nine days after her disappearance, a team of 3 forensic experts entered Paulette's room at 2:00 in the morning, went straight to the bed, and started taking measurements, loudly stating its characteristics and recording their activities on video. At some point, one of them declares in a loud and clear voice, twice in a row, that Paulette "was severely beaten" to death. As I've said above I've seen the video and when the sheet is first pulled back you can't see the little girls' face as her hair was covering it and there wasn't as much blood as you would expect with a beating and 5 to 9 days of decomposition. Bare in mind that this happened n Mexico so pretty hot weather. A few moments after, the forensic expert to his right, removes the bed's blanket to reveal two large bloodstains, one of them as big as an adult's head. The same man walks to the front of the bed and with the help of another forensic expert, removes all the sheets to reveal Paulette's corpse, partially hidden on one side of the mattress.

Forensic experts removing the mattress of Paulette's bed
Source: Reddit


Paulette disappeared on March 21. Her body was found on March 31, nine days later. The initial autopsy report established March 28 as the probable date of her death. The forensic expert in charge of the investigation confirmed that an unidentified person in high command of the state asked him to correct the date of the death. This is believed to be the General attorney Alberto Bazbaz, establishing a non-specific time between March 21 and March 26 as the official date of death. The exact day and hour were never revealed to the public. The cause of death ruled as an accident caused by mechanical asphyxia does not explain the stains showed in the forensics video.

Paulette's pajamas

Paulette's Pajamas
Paulette's Pajamas | Source: Youtube

In 2010 via Youtube, a video titled "The strange case of Paulette's pajamas" was taken by experts and disseminated in some media; the video makes a comparison between photographs of Paulette's body dressed in blue and red pajamas with reindeer figures, with an interview with her mother previously recorded, several days before the girl's body was found in which the same pajamas appear on the girl's bed and her mother holds them up to show the interviewer.

After this discovery was made public, the television network aired all the footage without cuts, including all preparation prior to the interview. As Lizette and the reporter in charge of the interview examine various items owned by Paulette, the above-mentioned pajamas appear. When asked directly, Lizette states that the pajamas belong to Paulette's sister, and have been discarded. Ask yourself why would she throw them away? Also, Paulette was small for her age while her sister was 7 years old. So would the pajamas even be the same size?

Parents marriage and finances

There is speculation that although Lizette Farah and Mauricio Gebara claimed to have "the perfect relationship" sources say that Lizette was actually having an affair. And that the night before Paulette disappeared Lizette wasn't with her husband and children but she was with her lover and had actually spent the weekend with him. While Mauricio had taken both 4-year-old Paulette and 7-year-old Lizette away for a little weekend holiday.

After this discovery was made public, the television network aired all the footage without cuts, including all preparation prior to the interview. As Lizette and the reporter in charge of the interview examine various items owned by Paulette, the above-mentioned pajamas appear. When asked directly, Lizette states that the pajamas belong to Paulette's sister, and have been discarded. Ask yourself why would she throw them away? Also, Paulette was small for her age while her sister was 7 years old. So would the pajamas even be the same size?

Lizette Farah
Lizette Farah | Source: Google

During the investigation, a recording between the mother Lizette, and Paulette's sister, also named Lizette was released, she can be heard saying to the 7-year-old not to say anything about Paulette's disappearance because THEY would be blamed, little Lizette asks "why mom?" To which she replies "because otherwise, they will blame us for stealing her or that you took her away to be stolen", It is known that Paulette's bigger sister had a personality disorder.

More than 7 years after the girls' death, on the 3rd of May 2017, Paulette's body was exhumed and her remains were cremated.

Paulette Gebara's Final Resting Place
Paulette Gebara's Final Resting Place | Source: Wikimedia

This is such a case that the more you know the more complicated it becomes Was it a cover-up? Was it an accident? The theories are endless with this awful tragedy. So what are your thoughts?

Author: Tracie McFaden

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