Original article no longer available
9 February 2007
MADRID The sister of Spain’s future queen committed suicide by taking a coctail of anti-depressant pills, a post mortem finds.
Erika Ortiz, 31, died in her sleep after writing a series of letters to family members and taking the pills.
She had been depressed for some time following the break-up of her marriage.
Spain’s royal family on Thursday attended the funeral outside Madrid for Ortiz, a sister of the wife of Crown Prince Felipe.
The youngest sister of Princess Letizia, Ortiz died Wednesday and was cremated following a private service at the La Paz morgue, north of Madrid, that was officiated by the chaplain of the Zarzuela Palace.
Felipe and Letizia arrived in a vehicle that was driven by the crown prince and was also carrying Ortiz’s mother, Paloma Rocasolano, and her maternal grandfather, Francisco Rocasolano.
Under an intense rain, the princess entered the morgue with her arm draped over her grandfather’s shoulder while Paloma Rocasolano clasped the arm of Prince Felipe, all visibly saddened by the loss.
King Juan Carlos; his daughters, Princesses Elena and Cristina; and their respective husbands arrived 10 minutes later in two other vehicles and offered their condolences to Letizia, who was overcome by tears.
Queen Sofia was unable to attend the funeral because she heard the news while on a trip to Indonesia and was flying back to Spain on Thursday.
Also absent was Telma Ortiz, Erika’s other sister, who works in Manila with Spain’s AECI foreign-aid agency and was also unable to return on time.
Following the funeral service, the crown prince and princess addressed the media assembled at the entrance to the morgue and expressed their gratitude for the messages of condolence they have received.
An emotional Princess Letizia, six months pregnant with the couple’s second child, expressed thanks “to all the people who have felt saddened by the death of my little sister.”
Erika Ortiz, whose body was found by her boyfriend, leaves behind a six-year-old daughter by her former husband, sculptor Antonio Vigo.
Ortiz worked as a sales representative for publisher Franco Maria Ricci and later became communications director for the company’s Arte magazine before accepting a position as a graphic designer with Globomedia, a television production company.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]