Leidy Asprilla, a 22-year-old soccer player who had represented Colombia in youth international tournaments, was found dead off the side of a road yesterday. Her family reported her missing on Sunday after Asprilla left home to pick up a teammate for a training session but never arrived.
Police found Asprilla’s body near her motorcycle in a ditch off a road that leads from El Cerrito to Rozo in Valle del Cauca, according to ESPN. When found, Asprilla reportedly was wearing a helmet. Police also found a backpack with her belongings, including a cap of her club team, Orsomarso SC, near the body.
There’s still no word on the cause of death or what happened. Upon realizing she was missing, Asprilla’s family first assumed she had been kidnapped. A report in Colombian paper El Espectador says there is some speculation that Asprilla was killed in a hit-and-run. However, the search party member who found Asprilla’s body told another paper, El Tiempo, that he wasn’t so sure it was a traffic accident.
The man said that when he spotted Asprilla’s body off the road, he noticed that the motorcycle did not show any visible signs of being in a crash. “The truth is,” the man told El Tiempo, “that the motorcycle, as such, was in an almost perfect state. It had no effect on any of its parts or in the front of the bike’s drain. It had the mirrors on.”
The same man also told El Tiempo how dangerous the specific area where Asprilla’s body was found is: “I know the road, the road is very dangerous, people have been found dead due to robberies. I was even the victim of a theft, they even gagged me.”
The Colombian soccer league in which Asprilla played released a statement expressing their condolences, saying they are “deeply saddened by the death of our player.” Catherine Asprilla, a member of the player’s family, told El Espectador that Asprilla had no enemies, was “A girl with zero problems.” When asked how Catherine would remember Asprilla, she said “As a very cheerful person, she always had a smile. Someone friendly, above all simple and helpful to others.”