A 42 year old Swedish woman was found dead on Thursday morning in a Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria apartment in which she had been living with her 45 year old partner, in the southern municipality of Mogán. Contusions and various injuries on the body suggest she may have been the victim of a violent crime, according to sources close to the early investigations.
Events began to unfold at about half past five yesterday afternoon, after emergency services had been called earlier in the day to the Los Junquillos apartments, in a quiet area just over the ridge of the west hill in the busy resort town of Puerto Rico, where the woman’s body was found inside one of the lower apartments.
Guardia Civil detained a 45 year old Swedish man who is suspected of have possibly caused the death of his 42 year old wife, according to sources reporting on the investigation.
The woman was found dead in the apartment by a Guardia Civil patrol, after her husband, identified with the initials LEA, had called the emergency services on 112 at around 10am to request help indicating that his wife, Maria V. had died of, what seemed to him, natural causes. However, his explanations did not adequately explain the injuries presented on the body, and so quickly raised suspicions in the view of the agents who first inspected the scene.
Early indications from local witnesses suggest that both the man and the woman were heavy drinkers. They had been living for the last year in the small apartment, in a complex mostly used by the foreign resident community, on a hill that looks down over the barranco leading to Amadores, with views to the west out towards Teide. A tranquil spot where neighbours say that they heard no indications of a fight or argument of any kind.
Neighbours say that the woman, Maria, had been ill, though had got a little better for a while, and that the husband had spent several months away but that she had seemed to go down hill again after his return, to the point where by she relied completely on him even to get up the stairs to leave the complex which took at least 20 minutes. It seems he was her sole carer and that the couple kept themselves to themselves, and were all but invisible, only occasionally seen when Maria had to climb the stairs to go by health service transport for visits to the local health centre. Although there is suspicion of alleged gender violence, neighbours say they never heard arguments, and the Guardia Civil have reportedly said there was no record of allegations prior to yesterday, with at least one neighbour having simply put Maria’s death down to “illness and alcohol”.
The man, 45, was subsequently arrested on Thursday afternoon on charges of suspected homicide after a forensic examiner determined that the injuries on the body of the deceased showed signs of criminality and potential gender violence. This together with evidence collected by the Guardia Civil, led to the arrest of LEA on suspicion of homicide, according to the reports last night from the main Las Palmas Command. If so then this will be the first death due to gender violence on Gran Canaria to have occurred this year.
More than a dozen Guardia Civil remained at the complex throughout yesterday afternoon so as to collect the maximum evidence possible for the investigation. It is expected that agents of the Judicial Police will return to Roque de los Muchachos street today to collect more clues. Among them, recordings made by the seven security cameras that monitor the Los Junquillos apartments complex, which they hope will indicate at what time the couple both left the house for the last time and their last movements before Maria V died.
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