The search for Frida Sofía is over: it turns out there was no such person trapped in the rubble of a school in Mexico City.
There might be one person remaining in the debris that was part of the Enrique Rébsamen school but it’s not one of the students, said an undersecretary of the Navy this afternoon.
A count conducted by education officials and the armed forces has determined that all the school’s students are accounted for.
The name of Frida Sofía has earned international recognition today as people around the world have waited for news of the 12-year-old youngster whose fingers were seen by a rescue worker who was able to communicate with her.
But Navy Undersecretary Enrique Sarmiento Beltrán said he had no idea who Frida was.
“. . . we have no knowledge nor did we have any knowledge of that account and we do not believe it. We are certain that it was not real . . . .”
News of the contact supposedly made with the girl had been picked up by all the major Mexican newspapers and Mexico News Daily and international media as well. A reporter from a media outlet in Bulgaria telephoned Mexico News Daily this morning looking for details.
The story appears to have originated with the broadcaster Televisa, which reported yesterday that contact had been made with a young girl. But according to another report communication was made by tapping on debris, so it is unclear how the rescuer was able to learn the girl’s name.
Another story claimed a rescue worker had seen the girl’s “wiggling fingers,” but did not explain why she could not be rescued if they could see her hand.
Early this morning a call went out asking Frida Sofía’s parents to identify themselves. They never appeared. The education secretary had said earlier that attempts to locate them had been unsuccessful and that the girl’s name did not appear on the school’s attendance roll.
In the end, 11 of the students at Enrique Rébsamen school were rescued, but 19 children and six adults died.