‘The Asunta Case’ Recap & Ending Explained: What Happens To Rosario And Alfonso?

The Asunta Case, the new Netflix Spanish Original, is probably one of the best miniseries in the true crime genre. This show takes you through the highly publicized murder case of a thirteen-year-old girl named Asunta. The accused were her adoptive parents. The case went on for a while, and this miniseries chronicles the investigation and the ordeal the parents went through.


Spoilers Ahead

Why did Rosario and Alfonso file a police complaint?

The show began with footage of Rosario and Alfonso talking about adopting a girl from China. Six years later, on September 21st, 2013, the now-ex-couple filed a police complaint about their missing daughter, Asunta Yong Fang Basterra Porto, who was thirteen years old. Their heading to the police station in Santiago, Spain, was captured in the street CCTV footage, and that was crucial for the trial at court they would be facing in a couple of months. Rosario claimed to have left her at her apartment before heading to their holiday home in Montouto. The mother in the complaint said the girl was missing when she returned.


Who found Asunta’s body?

Asunta’s body ended up being found on the grassy sidewalk and the investigative officers, including Rios and Cristina, were at the scene of the crime in no time. A couple of red threads were found on the scene of the crime. The police quickly informed Rosario and Alfonso about Asunta being found, and they were devastated.

What were the initial findings?

The body was sent for a postmortem, and the crime scene suggested the girl was killed before she was dropped at the site, and there were signs of asphyxiation on her body. The investigation team led by Assistant District Attorney Judge Malvar also found some discrepancies in the statements given by the parents. This was followed by the inspection of the two separate apartments they lived in, and the holiday home at Montuoto. The postmortem report revealed 22 pills of Lorazepam were found in Asunta’s body. Asunta’s music teacher also revealed that the girl appeared drowsy and groggy at times, and she complained about being given crushed white powder by her parents. There was a CCTV image of Rosario and her daughter in the car, indicating that Asunta was with her mother on her trip to Montouto. Rosario especially fumbled when she used the bathroom, which left behind remnants of a thread that was found near Asunta’s body. Police began to wonder if the mother was involved in the murder of their daughter and immediately had her arrested after Asunta’s funeral. 


What was the familial situation of the investigating officers?

Judge Malvar lived with his aging father and had a difficult time taking care of him. Judge Malvar was busy with the Asunta case, and he hardly found time to be with his father. He had hoped to obtain some help from his siblings. Malvar’s father was unwilling to stay away from his son, but he eventually found a way to keep his father with him. The father and son never had a bitter relationship but only had a few disagreements. Cristina was married, and along with her husband, they were trying to have a baby through IVF. Cristina had her inhibitions, but her husband was supportive of everything she wanted for herself as a woman and as a wife. 

Rios, the other investigative officer, was raising his granddaughter with his wife, as he wasn’t in touch with his daughter. There was hardly any mention of their daughter in the show, but Rios and his wife were happily raising their granddaughter. They left no stone unturned in providing for their granddaughter, and he was happy being a father figure. 


What was the relationship status of Rosario and Alfonso?

Rosario and Alfonso were married for a few years after adoption but soon the wife fell in love with a married man. Alfonso learnt of the affair and confronted his wife and blamed her for ruining their marriage and his life. Rosario was glad the divorce was happening. Meanwhile Alfonso resorted to sending Rosario several hate emails filled with expletives.

Why did Alfonso begin to take care of Rosario?

Rosario had hoped to marry Vincente now that she was divorced, but her love never had plans to leave his pregnant wife. Out of pure fear of what Rosario would do, he broke up with her before things would fall apart in his personal life. Vincente moved away from her life in no time, while Rosario fell into depression. Alfonso found this opportunity to help his ex-wife. He tried to get her to love him because he was there for her when Vincente wasn’t. Rosario, on many occasions during the interrogation, sounded drowsy and disoriented and claimed Alfonso knew better, which was why he took over her life, which included getting her doctor-prescribed medicines and making her consume them. The police were quick to notice Alfonso continued convincing Rosario he would get both out of the mess. 


Why Was Alfonso arrested?

The police had receipts for large purchases of Lorazepam, which Alfonso seemingly purchased for Rosario. As mentioned above, Asunta had been given Lorazepam medicines for three to four months without any prescription. It was obvious Alfonso, just as he was claiming to take care of his ex-wife, took it upon himself to drug his daughter, as per the police investigation. One last search of the Montouto home made the police arrest Alfonse as well. They were kept in separate cells, but Rosario could communicate with him, and during one such conversation, she revealed Alfonso had a peculiar fetish that turned him on, which caused them trouble. It was assumed it had something to do with their daughter, and unbeknownst to the accused, the entire conversation was recorded by the investigation team.

What was the defense lawyer’s take on the case?

Rodrigo, Alfonso and Rosario’s first lawyer had to quit because he had lost hope in the case as the evidence was mounting against them and pointed to the fact that they could be looking at a life term if accused of the murder of Asunta. Their new defense lawyer was Juan Jose Dominguez, aka JJ, and his partner was Elena Garrido. JJ decided to represent Rosario, and Elena represented Alfonso, and they were sure the couple had been falsely accused, and the police were too lazy to look for another lead. The lawyers had learned of an attack that happened on Asunta, for Rosario refused to file a police complaint as she claimed the whole procedure would have scarred her daughter. Both chose to remain quiet about the assault, as the prosecution might use that event to add to the evidence against the parents. 


Who was responsible for the specimen found on Asunta’s shirt?

The lab analysis on the t-shirt worn by Asunta on the night of her death revealed there were semen stains on it, and on further investigation, they seem to have belonged to Carlos Murillo, who had a criminal record. On interrogating him and his sister, it was found out that Carlos was never in Santiago on the day of the murder or the day of the assault on Asunta, and he had plenty of alibis to back him up, including his sister. The defense had planned to use Carlos to get Alfonso and Rosario off the hook from the investigation, but that did not happen as Carlos turned out to be a red herring. The prosecution believes the lab that conducted the analysis probably contaminated the specimen, which led to this tiny distraction. 

What were Rios and Judge Malvar’s conclusions?

Rios strongly believed Rosario killed Asunta, as Alfonso had begun to suffocate her after the divorce as well. There was evidence of Rosario having met Vincente one last time, and Alfonso had come to this detail as well. Rios claims Alfonso may have become too possessive and claimed she was to be attached to him if they were raising Asunta. The presence of Asunta may have been a hindrance to Rosario’s life, and she might have given her daughter a drink mixed with crushed Lorazepam and disposed of the body in such a manner that there was no trace left of it. She may have eventually informed Alfonso about it. Alfonso, being a protective ex-partner, may have jumped to help her, and they remained tight-lipped and were not cooperative ever since, but the evidence against them suggests something else. 


Judge Malvar believed that the girl was aware of her parents drugging them, and since she distanced herself. There was also evidence of the girl informing the teacher about making her consume white powder, which affected her. Alfonso was probably worried that Asunta would go to the police. Before that could happen, he killed her by crushing the pills into her food and manipulating Rosario into helping him cover up the trail. Both were just theories, as there was no evidence to back them.

What happened before and during the trial?

Just before the pre-trial interrogation, a young girl came forward and informed the police about Asunta having shared the story of the assault with her. The same girl also mentioned having seen Asunta with her father on the street on the day she was found murdered. During the pre-trial interrogation, Rosario was asked about the assault on their daughter, to which she had no proper response. 


Rosario was visibly shaken up by the entire ordeal, and ever since she and Alfonso were kept on different sides of the prison, it was obvious both were emotionally dependent on each other and were spiraling without each other’s presence. Alfonso, however, chose to invoke his right not to speak during the pre-trial. He either chose to do that or was advised not to speak because of his anger-related outbursts. To the defense’s horror, Alfonso was triggered by Judge Malvar’s questions and began to blurt out expletives, which was an indication of the fact that he could be guilty and the case went to a jury trial.

Were Rosario and Alfonso accused of the murder of their daughter?

As the case went to trial, the jury was assembled based on how much they knew from the media about the case. The Asunta case, as it was titled, had become a media sensation, and there was also a parallel media trial that went on in which it was simply assumed that the parents killed the daughter for various reasons. Some claimed they wanted the inheritance left for Asunta by her grandfather, while others cooked nasty stories about taboo relations. The jury had to be unbiased at this point and would form an opinion based on the facts and evidence placed in front of them in the court of law. The norm of every jury trial is to find people were chosen as per the prosecution and the defense wants it. The jury trials were tricky because the judge has no say in such matters. A bunch of unbiased people were given the power to decide whether the allegedly accused parents were guilty or not.


The trial began as expected, and both teams presented the evidence gathered by each side. While the prosecution based their trial on the words of a young girl who claimed to have seen the father and the daughter on the road, the defense tried their level best to corroborate this evidence with an image of the blurred car that shows Rosaria with her daughter in the car. The defense could not build a strong case against the prosecution, which sadly caused the downfall of the ex-couple. The final verdict judged Alfonso and Rosario on the counts of murdering Asunta. Even though the prosecution had enough evidence that pointed towards the fact that they could have committed the murder, there was never any hardcore evidence to prove the act of murder. The defense had poor backing, and the ex-couple never cooperated during the investigation and interrogation.

The mini-series, The Asunta Case, ended with Alfonso taking an image of his daughter and his wife while on vacation. The last shot compared this image to the real one. The last bit of the show explained what happened to the couple after the trial. Rosario and Alfonso claimed innocence for as long as they could. Rosario eventually committed suicide, presumably out of shame and guilt. Alfonso stood his ground and chose to stay alive and in jail as a way to prove his innocence. Alfonso did not commit suicide because he wanted to prove the justice system wrong and felt that eventually the truth would come out and the police and the justice system would be proved wrong.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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