Updated 13 March: Ana Julia Quezada Cruz has confessed to hitting and then strangling Gabriel Cruz, a cause of death that has now been confirmed by autopsy. Quezada Cruz has said she acted alone and that the child’s father was completely uninvolved, and police are apparently accepting this at present. They say that the reason she was stopped while driving was that police who had been watching her had seen her removing what seemed to be a body from a pit near the house of her mother-in law, and so Gabriel’s grandmother: she was under surveillance because police were suspicious of her behaviour at press conferences, and of her claimed discovery of a T-shirt in an area previously thoroughly searched by police and sniffer dogs.
The woman had already lost a child, a four-year-old daughter who died by falling through a window in 1995. Police say that although a Court previously deemed the matter a tragic accident, the case has now been reopened to see if the woman had any involvement in the little girl’s death.
Original post 11 March: Spain has been literally turned over during the past twelve days with everyone looking for eight-year-old Gabriel Cruz, who disappeared in Almería in the south of the country while walking from his own home to his grandparents’ house nearby. Now, his stepmother Ana Julia Quezada Cruz has been detained. It was she who found a T-shirt later confirmed to be Gabriel’s, but she claimed to have found it in an area that police knew had already been combed thoroughly by officers and sniffer dogs. They didn’t believe it could have been there to begin with, and that simple fact put Ana Julia firmly in the picture as someone who needed to be watched.
This morning, the Guardia Civil stopped her while she was driving, and found the child’s body in the boot of her car. She had been on TV, in press conferences, “grieving” with her husband, the child’s father. Now there will be an investigation to establish quite what involvement she might have had in his death, though clearly suspicions are strong that her involvement was of the most horrific kind. Meanwhile, the little boy’s distraught mother has been personally called by the Spanish ministro del Interior (Home Secretary), Juan Ignacio Zoido, who has expressed a shock probably felt by the whole country. On 11M, Spain has another reason to grieve.