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Spanish police confirm the body found dead between two train carriages is that of missing young footballer
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Spanish police confirm the body found dead between two train carriages is that of missing young footballer

Eighteen-year-old Álvaro Prieto was reported missing on Thursday 12 October and the grim discovery was made by a television camera crew during a live broadcast in Seville this morning

S. González

Seville

Monday, 16 October 2023, 14:02

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A lifeless body that was spotted between two moving train carriages this Monday morning (16 October), during a live broadcast on a Spanish television programme, has been confirmed as that of missing young footballer Álvaro Prieto by Spain's National Police force.

The 18-year-old football player for the Cordoba youth team had been reported missing since last Thursday 12 October after he was last seen near the Santa Justa train station in Seville.

The images shot by the camera crew this Monday morning showed a body wearing clothes that matched what Álvaro Prieto was wearing on the day of his disappearance: white trainers and beige trousers. National Police officers are still inspecting the scene where the body was found.

The train where the body of the missing young man was found had been out of service for weeks, said Spain's state train operator Renfe. It was broken down and had not been moved or undergone any inspection or maintenance since 24 August. It had been parked on a track at the Santa Justa works, under the Carmona bridge, until today when it was moved to make way for another train unit.

The appearance of the body on a train that had not moved for 50 days, far from shedding light on this case that has gripped the nation, has only increased the unknowns. National Police officers have not ruled out any hypothesis: since the young footballer's body was found between the carriages. They include the possibilities that he could have died a violent death at the hands of a third party or that he could have died accidentally while trying to board the train, either due to crush injuries, asphyxiation or electric shock.

Nightclub

The teenager had spent a night out with his friends last Wednesday at the Theatre nightclub, about 3.5km from Santa Justa station. After the night out he walked to the station but missed the 7.35am train he had an electronic ticket on his phone for. He tried to catch another train at 8.55am from Seville to Barcelona with a stop in Córdoba, but was refused entry onto the train. Apparently, his mobile phone had run out of battery power and could neither show his train ticket or a bank account to pay for a new one. He also reportedly did not have a phone charger or cash on him.

According to sources close to the case, although at first Álvaro was asked to leave the station, he re-entered after sneaking through a gap in the wire fence and crossed the tracks with the intention of getting on the next train that could take him home. Security guards intercepted him and ejected him from Santa Justa station.

Álvaro Prieto left the area at about 9.30am and was caught on CCTV at the station's east gate.

After a National Police appeal, four key witnesses came forward who had seen Álvaro at the Santa Justa station and who agreed that, although his intention was to get on the train, he was respectful towards the Renfe staff at all times.

The young man was an engineering student and played in the Córdoba CF youth team. The Investigative Court handling the case had ordered secrecy and police have confirmed that "they are keeping several lines of investigation open."

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