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Netflix's 'The Asunta Case' is a true story. Here's what happened to the couple who killed their adopted 12-year-old daughter.

Eammon Jacobs   

Netflix's 'The Asunta Case' is a true story. Here's what happened to the couple who killed their adopted 12-year-old daughter.
  • Asunta Basterra Porto's adoptive parents killed her in 2013 when she was 12.
  • Alfonso Basterra and Rosario Porto were found guilty of killing their daughter in 2016.

A couple who murdered their 12-year-old daughter years after adopting her is the focus of the new Netflix series: "The Asunta Case."

Rosario Porto (Candela Peña), a lawyer, and journalist Alfonso Basterra (Tristán Ulloa), adopted Asunta Basterra Porto from China in 2001 and took her back to Spain. They killed her in 2013.

The case came to the attention of the authorities after the girl's body was found in the Spanish countryside near the city of Santiago de Compostela.

The series adds to Netflix's vast collection of true crime content that it has built in the last decade, which started with 2015's hugely successful "Making a Murderer." In 2024 alone, subscribers have flocked to Netflix to watch "Can I Tell You a Secret?," "Lover, Stalker, Killer," and "American Nightmare."

"The Asunta Case" is the second true crime dramatization to arrive on Netflix in April, after "Baby Reindeer" gripped audiences with the story of a comedian who gets stalked after showing an older woman kindness in a pub.

Basterra Porto was a talented, multilingual child who played several musical instruments

Part of the mystery of the series is why Porto and Basterra murdered their daughter: a gifted and talented child who was multilingual and could play numerous musical instruments.

Her ballet teacher told The Guardian in 2016 that on a typical Saturday, Asunta "got up at 7 a.m., did Chinese from 8 until 10, came to ballet from 10.15 to 12.30, then did French until lunchtime. And then there was violin and piano."

Basterra and Porto's marriage broke down in January 2013 when Basterra discovered that his wife had been cheating on him. The couple got divorced one month later, although they remained in close contact for Basterra Porto's sake, The Guardian reported.

After the divorce, the girl told her school headmistress that her mother had been giving her a "white powder" for her allergies, which was making her extremely tired, the Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.

The couple reported Asunta missing on September 21, 2013, and her body was found a day later. Police arrested Porto and Basterra when the same type of orange rope that was used to tie up Asunta's limbs was found in the trash at their home.

Here's where Porto and Basterra are now.

Alfonso Basterra was given an 18-year prison sentence for murder, which he's still serving

During the trial in 2015, the jury established that the parents repeatedly drugged Asunta over the summer of 2013 and then strangled her to death, Spanish outlet El Mundo reported. Their motive remains unclear.

They were both found guilty of murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Basterra and Porto were initially both sent to Teixeiro prison in northern Spain. However, although they saw each other in court, they did not continue to have any kind of relationship while in prison, Spanish outlet El Correo Gallego reported.

Basterra remains in prison and will be released once his sentence is over in 2033.

Rosario Porto died by suicide

In 2018, Porto was moved to a different prison in northwestern Spain, A Lama. Porto was then transferred to the Brieva women's prison in Avila.

Seven years into her sentence, Porto died by suicide.

Spanish outlet El Pais reported Porto had previously attempted suicide on two previous occasions in 2017 and 2018.

In 2020, Porto killed herself, and was found by guards in her cell.

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