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The cavity where the corspe was found.

Floor tile count led police to Sibora's body hidden behind wall in Torremolinos flat

Crime ·

A tattoo that matches one of the missing woman makes the identity of the victim, who had several stab wounds, almost certain

Juan Cano / Irene Quirante

Malaga

Thursday, 8 June 2023, 11:00

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Every time they went to the flat in Calle García de la Serna, the officers of the homicide group of the Torremolinos police station left with the same conviction. Although they were unable to find her mortal remains, the investigators were almost certain that the answer to Sibora Gagani's disappearance in 2014 was hidden within those walls.

Now, a tattoo on the body located on Tuesday in the property that the young woman shared with Marco G. R. practically confirms its identification, according to sources consulted. However, a DNA test will ultimately determine if the corpse is that of Sibora Gagani.

Police teams went to the house, now occupied by another couple, on at least four occasions to inspect the walls. On the first of these, they used a micro-camera inserted into holes drilled in the walls to check if, as the ex-partner of the missing woman had stated, the body was walled up in the flat.

However, during one of these visits, the investigators noticed a detail that turned out to be fundamental in solving the case. The key was in the flooring of the building. The line formed by the floor tiles did not coincide on either side of the headboard of the bed on the upper floor, revealing an irregularity in the wall behind it.

Driven by this conviction, it occurred to the police officers to count the floor tiles and compare them with those in the adjoining attic flat. The alarm bells rang: in the neighbour's flat there was a partition to a walk-in wardrobe in the equivalent space that was 'missing' in the flat being investigated.

The investigators focused on this area and requested the support of specialists, who carried out a new search of the flat on Tuesday, with an X-ray system.

According to sources, the officers detected a change in the density of the wall which did not coincide with the layout of the adjoining flat, as well as the presence of another material which appeared to be wood. On the outside, there was absolutely nothing visible on the wall, not even the slightest relief that would point to any renovation. The work, from a building point of view, was perfect.

Hollow wall

The policemen pulled down the wall, which was hollow. With the cooperation of the owner and the current inhabitants of the house, they proceeded to demolish the wall, locating behind it a large box made of chipboard.

Once the wall had been demolished, the lid of the box was lifted. The police officers could see that the inside was full of lime and that it gave off a strong odour. There was also a plastic bag containing a knife with traces of dried blood on it.

Bouquet of flowers

After carefully removing the lime, the officers found different objects and a bouquet of flowers on the torso of a corpse, which was inside a sleeping bag. The female body was wrapped in plastic bags, which, once removed, showed that mummification had occurred.

All indications are that the body is that of Sibora Gagani – her handbag was found among her belongings – although the sources consulted stressed that there is no confirmation of identity until DNA tests have been carried out on her mortal remains and compared with those of her family, who are due to travel to Malaga in the next few days.

Complementary tests are also awaited to certify the cause of death, although the investigations suggest that the mechanism would have been a knife, specifically the knife found in the burial site. The forensic experts have detected several stab wounds on the body and also on the T-shirt that the corpse was still wearing.

Stabbing death of Paula

Sibora was last seen in Torremolinos in July 2014, shortly after the young woman, then 22 years old, ended her relationship with Marco G. R. Since she disappeared, all efforts to find her had led to a dead end. Until 17 May, when the Italian was arrested as the alleged perpetrator of the stabbing death of Paula, 28, in the same town.

Alarm bells went off when investigators discovered that the Italian had also been Sibora's partner. In fact, he was the last person she had contact with. It was on 7 July via a WhatsApp conversation.

Marco had just refused to testify before the homicide police for Paula's murder and was being taken to the cells when he came across the image of the Italian-Albanian woman on a noticeboard in the Torremolinos police station. At that moment, seemingly overcome by the weight of his conscience, he said: "I want to collaborate because this is going to haunt me forever".

"I went too far"

Spontaneously, he allegedly said that the woman was in the attic flat they shared, "buried in a wall". He even offered to accompany the police there, although in the end he did not do so. The alleged murderer did not explicitly confess to killing Sibora, but acknowledged that they had a fight and simply said: "I went too far with her".

He did not formally ratify these statements before the police, in the presence of his lawyer, nor before the judicial authority. However, that confession had enough weight for the judge investigating the case to open proceedings against Marco and order searches in the house where they lived together between 2011 and 2014.

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