On September 25 last year, two girls of two and six years old They were murdered in Castellón by his father, Ricardo Carrascosa. After killing them, he threw himself out the window.
Itziar Prats she is the mother of the small. That day began for her with a call at six in the morning. It was the police. They believed that his ex-husband had committed suicide and they asked him to go down to the street. She asked about her daughters, who were with him, but the agents at that time did not know anything about them. Itziar Prats went out to the street accompanied by her mother, in her pajamas. "They took me to where I was to confirm that it was him. Nobody else could do it. I did not have family or anything there. We went up to the house because they could not open the door. No one had keys, and you had to call the fire department to open. They were calling, to see if the girls opened. They told me to call them because they knew my voice and they would answer it. The firemen opened the door with blows and we entered. A fireman, a sanitarian, a policeman and me later. They did not let me through. I stayed in the hall. Said the utility: 'Let it not happen, let it not happen!' And that's when I realized that my daughters were not there. I do not know if I fainted or what happened, but the next thing I remember is that I was on the ground, embraced by the policeman who took me out of there. "
Six months have passed since that day. Itziar Prats, a psychologist born in Getxo 43 years ago, is sitting on the bench in a park in the center of Madrid. He still does not know everything that happened on that floor or how it happened. Now he lives in the capital. Follow a therapy with a psychologist and see also a psychiatrist. He has returned to his parents' house. To the room of his childhood. She is the youngest of three brothers, the only girl. He moved in after incinerating his daughters, Nerea and Martina, and distributed most of his things. She kept some baby clothes that the grandmother made for them: "I gave everything. I did not want to have anything in front of me because I did not have anything to do but to suffer. "
He had threatened to kill them. She went to the system, which failed her
He keeps images and videos of the two girls on his phone. The older one, very slender and pretty. The small, also very cute, appears gesticulating and dancing full of life. He checks them often to not forget their faces.
Ricardo Carrascosa had threatened to kill them. He repeated it several times and she asked for protection. He went to the system and the system failed miserably. The institutions that should watch over her they did not believe their call for help. But he fulfilled his threat.
They married in 2009 after moving to Castellón two years earlier. There he worked as a tilemaker and she as an educator in a juvenile center. They lived far from their respective families. Hers, in Madrid. His, in Villanueva del Arzobispo (Jaén), the town where he was born. Itziar Prats decided to divorce in 2017. She assures that he had become too selfish: "It was as if he did not have a family. He was dedicated to him and complaining that he did not pay attention to him and that he spent a lot of time with the girls, "she says.
The first complaint was filed in February 2018, months after initiating the divorce proceedings. That Friday, February 23, hours before Prats went to the police station, both were at the table of a café in their neighborhood, trying to match Carrascosa's visiting hours with the girls. Deciding it was always a nightmare. And the thing had gotten even more complicated. The court had just established a visitation regime that he rejected.
Itziar Prats had custody and Ricardo Carrascosa had restricted access to the girls. He also protested for the maintenance that he had to pay: 200 euros per month for each one. "You have ruined me alive," he reproached her. And he warned her that she too was going to lose everything. It was not the first time he said it: "I can end up in jail and all dead."
They argued. He took the girls, who played for him that weekend. The owner of the cafeteria approached Itziar Prats and offered his help after hearing the discussion. She would later recall that she could have testified as a witness to her ex-husband's anger, as he left it in the complaint. But neither the police nor the judge nor the prosecutor asked for his statement. Neither the neighbor who had seen so many things, nor the doctor who had alerted the Court of Violence of Women of a possible case of abuse even before Prats decided to denounce it.
"They considered that there was no serious risk to put a measure"
She was very nervous in the cafeteria of Castellón because the girls were going to spend the whole weekend with the father. She approached the Women's Center, where she was being treated since the divorce process began. "They told me that nothing would happen, that the men said a lot but did nothing. And still I went to the police station to report it. " He spoke of the "moments of violence" of Carrascosa, "the anger when he drank or when he broke things at home".
After hours of declaration, in which she detailed the threats to the girls, they classified their situation of "low risk ", the second of lower intensity after "not appreciated. " Above there are three others: "medium, high and extreme ". "The threats against my daughters were not included in the questionnaire. And of course, how are you going to measure something that is not registered? "
The police questionnaire that determines the risk of victims of gender violence, in use since 2007, has undergone four modifications. The last, in force since March 13, includes specific instructions to assess the risk of murder of women, which until now was not contemplated, and that of minors. The children are counted as victims of sexist violence since 2013. Since then, 27 have been murdered, including Nerea and Martina, for whom the change in police protocol is too late.
On February 23, at the police station, there were no questions to assess the risk that Carrascosa murdered his own daughters as the mother had reported. And that would mark the rest of the procedure. Itziar Prats left there at dawn, with the warning that they were going to arrest him: "They asked me to stay pending because they would take the girls out of the house first and they would call me".
They did not call her all weekend. He was not arrested until Monday afternoon. She went to testify to the courthouse that same Saturday. They did not do anything either: "They told me that as a judge on duty, they did not have the capacity to handle this situation. I went home and I was waiting. On Sunday my mother, who had come from Madrid, picked up the girls. "
When they detained Carrascosa, three days after his complaint, they did not warn her either. He was told by his public defender, who was told when he went to court for another matter. They took his statement and let him leave.
"Let the children be heard. Children have a lot to say "
Along with photos of her daughters, Itziar Prats has recorded recorded conversations with her ex-husband on her phone. She sent those audios to the court, which she herself transcribed, in which he insults her and warns her that she will be left alone. Also the photos of Martina's car that Carrascosa broke. The court did not see it relevant. Everything looked like a complicated divorce when there was much more behind. "I reported, they told me that nothing would happen and my daughters are gone," adds Prats. "They considered that there was not such a serious risk that they had to take any action and that it was incongruous what they did with what they asked for," she says.
-The judge understood that she had not sufficiently explained my fear. And that I had gone to live 200 meters away from him. He did not ask me why I had done it or what I was afraid of. He did not ask me anything. Only if I ratified in the complaint.
-Why did he go to live next door?
-Because I did not find another floor, because I worked next door and the daycare center and the school were there. His threats were not against me, they were against them and I had the right to visit.
- Did someone examine their daughters?
-No, not my daughters or Ricardo or me. They did not believe me.
-Are you ever checked from the Forensic Appraisal Unit? [un servicio integrado en los juzgados con especialistas para ayudar en los casos].
-Do not. They did not ask for a report from the Women's Center they went to although they knew that they were in treatment. They did not ask for anything.
The case was dismissed in May. The prosecutor joined the judge and also considered that there was no breach. The lawyer recommended Itziar Prats to desist: "I thought they had not considered many things, what I contributed was not appreciated. They do not take into account that they are working with people. You are one more and that's it. They do not care".
And it arrived on September 25, that day that started early for Itziar and whose images have been repeated every night without being able to avoid it until very recently. Live life as if it were not yours, try to move forward. "I'm better. I try not to stay at home. Get up, get dressed, go out. It is necessary, "he says now taking a walk to a cafeteria in Madrid. It's cold.
He goes to the gym and is studying, although he has a hard time concentrating. He likes to walk and the countryside. It is often with family and friends. He is very grateful for the support he receives from ordinary people in Castellón. Co-workers, school, friends and neighbors. "I have had the support even of people who did not know me, this has come to them and they have contacted me. They try to contribute each one their grain of sand so that I am better and this is visible. " He is comforted by people's support but prefers to remain anonymous. That's why he asks not to appear in the photograph. That is why this report illustrates his hands with a butterfly that, in November, sent him one of those unknown in memory of the victims of sexist violence. "We are all capable of making a small gesture that drives change," he said. He wants them to reach as many sites as possible to open a reflection. So Prats' mother has not stopped weaving butterflies since then. Her father is "in struggle", she explains: "She wants to do something so that this does not happen again, that it does not happen again".
-And you, what do you want?
-That this does not normalize because it is not normal. And to finish. Or at least that it takes more into account what happens individually, because each case is a world. That the people who treat it are trained, that is essential. Many, at least from my experience, do not understand you. And to hear the children. The children have a lot to say.