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Minister urges media restraint to avoid harming search for missing Almería boy

Missing Gabriel Cruz.
Missing Gabriel Cruz. / SUR
  • Gabriel went missing on the 100-metre walk from his grandmother's house to play with his cousins last week in a hamlet in the Cabo de Gata national park

The national government's Interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, has pleaded with the media to excercise restraint in its reporting of the ongoing search for missing eight-year-old Gabriel Cruz in Almería.

Gabriel went missing on the 100-metre walk from his grandmother's house to play with his cousins last week in a hamlet in the Cabo de Gata national park in Níjar district. A massive search has been under way since then.

Early in the investigation a local man, who had a restraining order on him to stop him approaching the boy's mother, was arrested for manipulating his electronic tag the day the boy went missing and was sent to prison. Investigators and the boy's parents themselves have stressed that the detained man has given a sound alibi and is not involved in the disappearance, however at time of press, the media were reporting that a farm belonging to a family member of that man was being searched.

Hopes are resting on a white vest with Gabriel's DNA on, found at a water treatment works a few kilometres away by the boy's father and his current partner. The boy's mother has said it has given her hope he is still alive.