Dossier | The Isabella Nardoni Case

Fifteen years ago, one of the brutal crimes that shocked Brazil- The Isabella Nardoni Case, the five-year-old girl who was thrown from the balcony of her father's building.

Learn all about the Isabella Nardoni case below.

Who was Isabella Nardoni

Isabella de Oliveira Nardoni was born in São Paulo on April 18, 2002. She was the daughter of Ana Carolina Cunha de Oliveira and Alexandre Alves Nardoni. His mother got pregnant at the age of 17, news that was not well received by his father, who at the time was trying to get into law school.

Alexandre Nardoni separated from Ana Carolina when Isabella was only eleven months old. In a legal agreement, a monthly alimony of R$ 250 was defined and the right to two visits per month, fortnightly.

The Isabella Nardoni Case

Isabella Nardoni was found dead on March 29, 2008, after being thrown from a height of six floors, in the garden of Edifício London, a residential building at Rua Santa Leocádia, 138, North Zone of São Paulo. The apartment belonged to her father, where he lived with the girl's stepmother, Anna Carolina Trotta Peixoto Jatobá and the couple's two children, one eleven months old and the other three years old.

Alexandre Nardoni stated in a statement that the building where he lives was robbed and the girl was thrown by one of the bandits. According to the press, he would have said that he left his wife and two children in the car and went up to put Isabella, who was already asleep, in bed. He would then have gone down to help carry the other two children, and, upon returning to the apartment, he saw the cut screen and his daughter lying on the lawn in front of the building. Between putting the daughter to bed and returning to the room, 5 to 10 minutes would have passed, according to the father's statement.

The investigation of the Isabella Nardoni case

Alexandre Nardoni's testimony had several inconsistencies, which helped to initiate a deeper investigation. Days later, the investigation found that the protective screen on the apartment window had been cut so that the girl could be thrown and that there were blood marks in the child's room.

Dossiê | O Caso Isabella Nardoni 1
Reconstitution of the case by the expert / Image: R7

A resident of the first floor of the building heard the sound of Isabella falling and made a call to the emergency. Later during the investigations, it was verified with the GPS company of Nardoni's car, that after the car stopped and the time of the call, a period of about 4 minutes passed, which makes it impracticable for a burglar to arrive at the apartment and commit the crime, as stated in the deposition. The fact that there is no evidence of a break-in or stolen items in the house reinforces the distrust in the investigation.

According to the R7, the expertise found that Isabella was assaulted already inside the car with some perforated-blunt object. When going up with the child to the apartment, there was an attempt to stop the blood that flowed from the girl's forehead. She was thrown to the floor of the apartment's living room, to the point of having her wrist fractured.

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Several testimonies were collected, among family members, a mason who worked in the building and even changed his statement, disappearing soon after. even the lieutenant Fernando Neves he was involved in the statements, of which he committed suicide shortly after testifying, when his apartment was searched on suspicion of pedophilia.

The diverse number of different testimonies made the investigations very difficult, however, after the second statement by Isabella's mother, the Jury Court of São Paulo accepted the request for the couple's provisional arrest, at the time valid for 30 days, extendable for another 30 days. . On April 18, the day Isabella would have turned six, Alexandre Nardoni and Anna Carolina Jatobá were indicted for murder.

The arrest of Alexandre Nardoni and Anna Jatobá

On May 29, 2008, the judge Mauricio Fossen decreed the preventive detention of both. The couple, who were staying at Anna Jatobá's mother's apartment, chose to surrender to the police. In May, the couple's lawyers filed a total of two requests for habeas corpus, which were denied.

In early 2009 Alexandre Nardoni and Anna Carolina Jatobá were taken to the popular jury. The first day of the trial took place on March 22, 2010, about two years after Isabella's death. After five days of trial, the jury found the couple guilty of triple aggravated homicide (because the girl was asphyxiated, considered cruel, had no chance of defense, because she was unconscious when she fell out of the window, and because the homicide was committed with the purpose of concealing the previous aggression) and procedural fraud.

Dossiê | O Caso Isabella Nardoni 2
Alexandre Nardoni and Anna Carolina Jatobá/ Image: Reproduction

Alexandre Nardoni was sentenced to 31 years, 1 month and 10 days – for the aggravating factor of being Isabella's father – and Anna Carolina Jatobá, to 26 years and 8 months, in a closed regime. For procedural fraud, they were sentenced to serve 8 months and 24 days, in a semi-open regime.

The possible involvement of grandparents

The involvement of Alexandre and Anna's parents, in an attempt to cover up the crime, is a suspicion that continues to this day. Six years after the arrest, an employee of the prison system in São Paulo, who claims to have spoken with Anna Carolina Jatobá, gave testimony to the Public Ministry. Second fantastic report, she told details of the conversation, where she would have stated that her father-in-law, Antonio Nardoni, was also involved in the crime. And that she didn't denounce him because he supports the family and sends gifts to her in jail. “She said that her father-in-law sent him, he instructed the two to simulate an accident. I heard it from her mouth, eye to eye.” He and Nardoni's mother were involved in the defense of the case.

Stepmother's Out of Control

Some witnesses claim that Jatobá hated Isabella. After the arrest of the couple, information suggests that the girl was beaten by her stepmother, still in the car. Alexandre and Jatobá had returned from a market, according to the local cameras showed, after a visit to the house of Alexandre's father-in-law.

The same employee who gave testimony to the Public Prosecutor's Office also argued about the matter in her conversation with the girl's stepmother. According to her, Anna assumed that she had beaten the girl violently inside the car, shortly before the crime, and that then her husband threw her daughter out the window. Anna is said to have hit Isabella because "she wouldn't stop bothering her". “They went to the supermarket, bought something with the children. The card did not go through, there was some problem. Then, they were nervous” – said the employee. “She said she hit the girl because she wouldn't stop bothering her. That it wasn't supposed to be that serious. He thought he killed him, he thought the girl was dead”.

See also: Dossier | Daniella Perez – Find out all about the case that shocked Brazil

At the time of the crime, the Institute of Criminalistics made a video showing the conclusions of the police and the MP. The prosecution concluded that Isabella was actually attacked inside the car by a ring or key, which injured the girl in the forehead. According to investigations, upon arriving at the couple's apartment, Alexandre threw his daughter on the floor, and Anna asphyxiated the girl. Jatobá denies the choke. “She says she didn't strangle the girl, that he put the girl on the ground, believing she was dead, while she called her father-in-law. He told his father-in-law who killed the girl and he said: 'Simulate an accident, otherwise you will be arrested'. Then they had the idea of throwing the girl out the window. That Alexandre only threw his daughter because he believed she was dead and that he went into shock after he threw it. Came down, and the girl was alive.”

What was the reason for the murder of Isabella Nardoni?

The Isabella Nardoni case is one of the murders that do not have a complete statement about the motivations, since the couple says they are innocent and there are no witnesses. So only they know what happened.

Second Ilana Casoy, a criminologist and True Crime writer who assisted the jury on the case, there are occasional motivations. In an interview for That is, she claims it was the result of a fight and an unpremeditated crime. “They did not premeditate the crime. There was a lack of control between the two. According to American data, the vast majority of murdered children under 12 years of age lost their lives in a couple's fight. Situations that get out of control and are left to the child are common. The Nardoni have a history of losing control. There is a fight between the two that is crucial to understanding them. Alexandre made a shopping list while Jatobá screamed and cursed. And he went on calmly making the list. She was so unnerved by his indifference that she tore up the list. Alexandre got up, took another piece of paper and started again. Faced with this strong manifestation of rejection, she went to the laundry room, punched the glass and cut herself. His comment: "You don't stop until you do something stupid."

See also: Dossier | The Richthofen Case - The Girl Who Killed Her Parents

He also completes his analysis: “Jatobá is out of control, the trigger of everything. In my analysis, Alexandre's target of protection is Jatobá and the two children he had with her. He killed Isabella to protect what was most important to him: his family. I didn't think: "When I can, I'm going to kill this daughter who bothers me." He was faced with a situation (Isabella asphyxiated by her stepmother) and he had to make a quick decision”.

Where are Alexandre Nardoni and Anna Carolina Jatobá now?

Since 2019, Alexandre has been serving his sentence in a semi-open regime and is entitled to work outside prison and five temporary departures per year. In prison, Nardoni has also dedicated himself to work and studies in the unit itself, with the aim of redeeming days of sentence.

See also: Dossier | Meet the Madeleine McCann case, the girl who disappeared

Anna Carolina Jatobá is serving time at Santa Maria Eufrásia Pelletier Penitentiary, the P1 female prisoner in Tremembé (SP). In July 2017, she managed to progress to the semi-open regime, which was suspended in 2020, after being caught in a videoconference with her children inside the penitentiary. In June 2023, Anna was released after Justice granted progression to the open regime.

How does Ana Carolina de Oliveira, Isabella Nardoni's mother, live now?

Dossiê | O Caso Isabella Nardoni 3
Ana Carolina and Isabella/ Image: Reproduction

Currently, Ana Carolina leads a discreet life with her family. She married the administrator Vinicius Francomano and together they had two children: a boy named Miguel, aged six, and a girl named Maria Fernanda, of three years.

Works on the Nardoni Affair

Still during the investigation period, two books were published about the case, the Isabella case: new truth, by Paulo Papandreu and The death of Isabella Nardoni – Expert Errors and Contradictions, by George Sanguinetti. Both were banned from circulation by the São Paulo court, the author of the first being sued by Isabella's mother with the request for compensation of R$ 100 thousand.

In 2018 it was released The Worst of Crimes: The Story of Isabella Nardoni's Murder, by Rogerio Pagnan. Built at the pace of a thriller, it breaks down the case of the tragic death of Isabella Nardoni. One of the most important police reporters of his generation, Rogério Pagnan was not content with detailing the case. The author went further, facing urgent issues that are still little debated in Brazil regarding the nature and limits of a judicial process, which makes this work, from now on, indispensable in the field of Law. Here are exposed the vices that feed an investigative bureaucratic gear below the needs of a country with its 60,000 homicides a year.

In 2010 Ilana Casoy launched The Proof and the Witness, where he reports what happened inside the Court during the judgment of the Isabella Nardoni Case. In the work, the clash between Defense and Prosecution is presented. By the same author, the Family Cases. Richthofen Archives and Nardoni Archives, from 2016, summarizes the two crimes that impacted Brazil.

In 2023, on the 17th of August, it will be released on Netflix the documentary Isabella: the Nardoni Case. In feature film format, the production analyzes the case that moved Brazil, reveals little-known details and brings unpublished testimonies from Isabella's mother and grandparents, who fight to keep her memory alive, in addition to journalists, experts and defense lawyers. .

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