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Couple arrested suspected in the murder of a homeless man

Couple arrested suspected in the murder of a homeless man

Policia Nacional have arrested a couple accused of the murder of a homeless, disabled man whose body was found after having been set alight on January 11 in an abandoned area of ​​the southern municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Gran Canaria), where it is thought he used to sleep.

The two arrested, who have not been named, are a 43 year old man, of Spanish nationality though Turkish born, and an Irish woman of 50 years of age, who are both residents in San Fernando de Maspalomas, and who have today gone to court to answer charges. The woman has no previous police record and the man, like the victim, has a history of minor public disorder offences. The man has been jailed on remand, without bail, in a judgement today at the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC), the regional high court, charged of an alleged crime of homicide, while the charges against the woman are to still to be determined.

The deceased victim was a 61-year-old Romanian man who was wheelchair bound, and was a well-known, easily recognised person around the Maspalomas area because he had both legs amputated and had using a wheelchair for quite some time, although he had prostheses that he used occasionally to get up. The dead man is known to have been taking part in an ongoing judicial process against one of the aggressors, who he had allegedly stabbed in the year 2017. For this reason police believe that revenge may be considered as the primary motive for the killing.

The investigation began last January 11 after a call to the main Canary Islands 112 Emergency and Security Coordination Centre alerted National Police of a man having died and his body having been burned at the place where he regularly spent the night, the tourist resort area of Playa del Inglés.

Agents made numerous enquiries allowing them to determine that the man had been strangled and, after dying, had been sprayed with an accelerant of some sort and burned. The accelerant was later discovered to have been alcohol.

The investigation into the case was complicated due to the scene of the crime, where the agents found the body, having been damaged by the fire, in addition to additional actions such as the use of an extinguisher to extinguish the flames on the part of a witness.

Once the police had compiled the facts and available evidence, every indication pointed to the couple as possible perpetrators of the murder, asking  judicial authorities for an entry and search warrant at their home, agents retrieved a series of personal effects – garments worn by the suspects – that could be related to the case.

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