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CCTV footage shows toddler walking along train tracks hours before she was found dead

Tributes to Lucía on the platform at Pizarra station.
Tributes to Lucía on the platform at Pizarra station. / Fernando Torres
  • The body of three-year-old Lucía Viva Hidalgo was found by the side of the train line, three kilometres from Pizarra station last Thursday

The investigation into the death of three-year-old Lucía Viva Hidalgo, whose body was found next to the tracks on the railway line from Malaga to Álora in the Guadalhorce valley last week, has new information.

According to sources, the toddler was recorded by cameras at the Cercanías railway station in Pizarra on the night of Wednesday, 26 July walking along the tracks in the direction that her body was eventually found the following morning.

This piece of evidence supports the Guardia Civil's initial hypothesis that Lucía wandered off while playing with family members, becoming tired in the darkness and falling asleep on the tracks before being hit by an early-morning train.

The autopsy, carried out in Malaga the day she was found, showed that she had died after a heavy blow to the head and had no other markings.

Lucía went missing from a bar in the old station building in Pizarra shortly after 11pm at night. Witnesses said she had been playing in and outside the building, which had two doors; one to the street and one to the railway platform, while her parents ate with family on the terrace outside. They had been celebrating Santa Ana's day, the name of her maternal grandmother, who lives in the village.

Her disappearance prompted a huge overnight search involving 600 people, and both the mayor of Pizarra and the Guardia Civil sent out pleas for help.

Efforts to find the toddler however proved fruitless until a driver on a train spotted something next to the tracks, some three kilometres further up the line towards Álora, the next morning.

It was not clear how Lucía had reached that point, however investigations suggested that she had managed to walk that far on her own.

Following the autopsy, Lucía was buried in Alhaurín el Grande on Friday, where her father was from and where she lived. They are a well-known family in both Alhaurín and Pizarra and three days of mourning were declared in those places as well as Álora, the municipality where the body was found.

Investigations, however, have continued, including the analysis of the CCTV cameras, and further forensic tests have been carried out on the dead girl's clothing.

Locals' scepticism

Many residents in Pizarra have spoken out about how unlikely it was, in their view, for a small child to walk so far along an uneven, stoney surface by the track late at night, away from the lights of the village. “There's a bridge [on the track] that even I'm scared of crossing”, said one local. Some also commented that it was strange that there had been no markings on the girl's feet and legs after walking so far.

While investigators continue to work, still supporting the theory that it was a tragic accident, the minister of the Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido, when asked about the case, urged caution and for people to wait for the full results of the analyses.