Update 17 March: Police have now confirmed this death as suicide. The poor soul seems to have set himself on fire, burned for hours in the barranco, and was finally “dismembered” by loose dogs and vermin. There is now no mention of the “cables” that were originally said to have bound his body, but police confirm the identity as a 51-year-old Taco man who had already tried to commit suicide at the turn of this year by drinking bleach. One hopes that this has not served to precondition the police to make an assumption of suicide, because they were quite definite about those “cables” to begin with.
Update 16 March: Despite what they were saying even up to last night, the latest this morning is quite incredible … literally “incredible” – I can’t believe it, anyway.
Police say that the investigation and initial forensic results indicate that this body (which let’s remember was cut up and burnt) is that of a 50-year-old who had been reported missing, and who committed suicide.
Police say that although they initially considered the matter a criminal one, the investigation has turned around completely and now points to a suicide.
HERE‘s the link to C7 to see for yourselves!
Update 15 March: The body was of a foreigner, whose exact cause of death is still unclear, but which took place before the body was cut up. The hands were removed to avoid identification.
These are the first conclusions drawn from the investigation and forensic tests, and give strength to the hypotheses of a settling of scores or a drugs mule. Narcotics test analysis is still awaited to see if there are traces in the body.
Update 13 March: Police say that the body was not cut up where it was found. The investigation is considering various hypotheses, including that the man, now said to be between 20 and 30 years of age, died while transporting drugs in his stomach, or was a victim of a settling of scores. In either of these scenarios, it is possible that the body was cut up to ease its transport to the place where it was dumped.
What is concerning police particularly, however, is the cable found on the poor man which could suggest that he was still alive when tied up and killed. Clearly at least one of those who set his body on fire in the barranco knew the area well, and the burning suggests an obvious attempt to do away with evidence.
Forensic scientists are still carrying out minute tests on the body, including on the type of cuts made to dismember it. The results could suggest someone with medical or butchery knowledge. The autopsy was carried out yesterday but tests are still continuing and there is no news on the early results.
Update 12 March: The body appears to be that of a middle-aged man, the Policía Nacional say. The head had been separated from the body, and the legs were found a short distance away. The poor soul appears to have been tied up, with the bindings still around the neck and legs. The arms are still to be found. Police say that locals report smelling what they thought was a BBQ the night before the grisly find was made. The remains have been transferred to the Instituto Anatómico Forense, where an attempt will be made to identify the body.
Original post 11 March: In reports reminiscent of THIS story from almost exactly a year ago, National Police have confirmed that a local walking their dog this morning found a body at the bottom of a barranco in the Añaza area of Santa Cruz, the area south of the city centre where Carrefour is. Even worse than the find itself is the fact that the body was burnt and dismembered, and it is impossible right now to tell even if it is that of a man or a woman. Police are investigating the circumstances and no doubt there will be updates in due course.