ASUNCION, Paraguay – The daughter of former Paraguyan President Raul Cubas (search) was found dead Wednesday night, months after she was abducted by heavily armed gunmen in the highest-profile kidnapping ever in this South American country.
Attorney General Oscar Latorre said the body of Cecilia Cubas (search), 32, had been unearthed from a tunnel behind a house on the outskirts of Asuncion and identified through dental records.
"Preliminary studies show that the body is that of Cecilia," Latorre said on Radio Mil. There was no immediate word on the cause of death and officials said an autopsy would be performed.
Cecilia Cubas was seized in a commando-style operation Sept. 21 as she drove near the family home in a wealthy Asuncion (search) suburb. The abduction took seconds, but the shock has continued to ripple through this country of 6 million.
In recent months there have been marches by thousands of Paraguayans demanding her release, and many cars were plastered with bumper stickers bearing her photograph.
Former President Raul Cubas has repeatedly made emotional public appeals for his daughter's release and once said he had paid an $800,000 ransom to her abductors.
On Wednesday evening, Cubas his wife rushed to the site of the abandoned house as word spread that her body had been found. They were quickly joined by President Nicanor Duarte. As they arrived, television footage showed 15 firefighters and police officers digging in the yard.
Cubas served as president from August 1998 until March 1999. He was forced to resign when the assassination of his vice president triggered days of street rioting and political turmoil.
Eariler Wednesday, Colombian authorities said their police were aiding Paraguay in the search for the woman amid suspicions that Colombian rebels may have been linked to the abduction.
Latorre said Tuesday that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, may have been involved in the kidnapping, though he provided no evidence.