Chief suspect in Dana Leonte case prevents suicide of fellow inmate

Sergio Ruiz with police officers outside his house in Arenas.
Sergio Ruiz with police officers outside his house in Arenas. / SUR
  • Sergio Ruiz retained his right not to testify in court last Friday and spoke only to maintain his innocence in the woman's disappearance

Sergio Ruiz, the man accused of murdering his girlfriend, Dana Leonte, is said to have prevented the suicide of the man he is currently sharing a cell with in Alhaurín de la Torre prison.

The man, only known as Antonio, who has been in the prison awaiting trial since 7 September, accused of murdering his 81-year-old mother in Puerto de la Torre, was found by Ruiz with a torn sheet wrapped around his neck, crying and sitting on his bed saying that he wanted to end his life.

Prison wardens heard Ruiz shouting for help from the men's cell at around 4.30pm on Sunday and according to prison sources, Ruiz had managed to stop Antonio from killing himself.

The man was transferred to the prison infirmary where he was given a medical check before being sent back to his cell. Wardens say that the prison's suicide prevention protocol has been activated.

The two men are being held in a special protection unit within the Alhaurín de la Torre prison, which sources say is aimed at safeguarding their lives and integrity, given the high-profile nature of the two cases.

Court hearing

During a hearing at a court in Vélez-Málaga last Friday morning, in front of a gender violence judge, Ruiz used his right not to testify. The only words he spoke were to proclaim his innocence, which he has done since the beginning of the investigation when Dana went missing on 12 June.

He was taken to the courtroom by police and did not speak to any members of the press who were waiting outside the court ahead of his arrival at 10am.

More bones found

Police searching the area where a femur bone belonging to Leonte was discovered earlier this month have found a number of other bones. The discovery was made on Tuesday afternoon and while some are believed to be bones of animals that live in the area, sources close to the investigation have said that some appear to be human remains.

The bones have been sent off for testing to see if they correspond to the woman's DNA. Police have said that they could also belong to the person whose skull was found in a nearby area in 2017 and they are not ruling anything out at this stage.

Police are continuing their search for Leonte's body in the countryside around the village of Arenas, where the couple lived. It also emerged earlier this week that searches for Leonte have also taken place in Ibiza and her native Romania, which is where, according to Ruiz, she had fled in June due to mounting debt problems.