Italian man admits being responsible for the death of missing ex-partner and says he hid her body
Marco G. R. made the startling confession about the disappearance of Sibora in 2014 while being investigated by police for the stabbing to death of his recent ex-partner, Paula, earlier this month
Juan Cano / Irene Quirante
Wednesday, 24 May 2023, 12:06
The Italian partner of Sibora Gagani, Marco G. R. (45), has made a spontaneous confession that he was responsible for the death of the young Italian-Albanian woman who was his partner until 2014 and who has been missing since then.
It came after he had refused to make a statement before officers of the homicide group of the National Police, who were investigating him for stabbing to death Paula, 28, with whom he had been romantically involved until March this year.
As SUR has been able to confirm, Marco verbally told the police that Sibora's body was hidden between the walls of the apartment in which they lived together in Torremolinos. He even offered to take the investigators to the exact place where he had hidden her body.
His confession is now a key piece in the investigation, though Marco did not ratify the statements either before the police, in the presence of a lawyer, or in court. At the moment, the only version that investigators have is his testimony in the corridors of the police station. The judge investigating the disappearance of Sibora has opened proceedings against Marco and ordered the search of the apartment where both lived between 2011 and 2014.
In the early afternoon of Monday, May 22, about twenty officers, accompanied by a judicial commission, entered the house, an apartment divided into two floors in the centre of Torremolinos, and inspected each partition wall in search of Sibora's body or any clue to clarify her whereabouts.
The investigators used detectors and then drilled into different areas of the apartment into which they introduced cameras to check if inside there were human remains hidden between the walls. They also inspected the bathroom and other rooms. The search ended after 8 pm without finding the woman's body.
On Tuesday morning, specialists from the forensics department returned to the house and carried out new investigations in different rooms with the same objective, although, for now, without finding the body.
Missing woman's partner
Sibora was 22 years old when she disappeared from Torremolinos. During these almost nine years, all efforts to find the whereabouts of the young woman had not led to anything. Until last week, when the police found that Marco, following his arrest for Paula's crime, had also been the missing woman's partner.
He was the last person Sibora had contact with before the earth swallowed her up. On 7 July 2014 they had a WhatsApp conversation and she was never heard from again. The crime against Paula, a 28-year-old mother of three children – the youngest, the result of her relationship with Marco –, has been the connecting thread that has helped to unravel the case of the missing woman.
Just before she was lost track of, Sibora, who was in Spain with a forged Italian document, broke up with her ex-partner and moved to a small apartment in Calle Hoyo street, in Torremolinos. The police, from the beginning, considered it a "high risk" disappearance. The young woman had vanished without taking her mobile phone, without clothes and left all her belongings at home.
Sibora's mother contacted Marco shortly after she had no news of her daughter, with whom she used to talk daily. According to those around her, the woman called him to ask him if anything strange had happened or if he knew her whereabouts. He denied having any connection with her disappearance. The only thing he told them was that they had had a fight a few days before and that he had not heard from her since.
The young Italian-Albanian woman, like Paula, worked in the hospitality business in Torremolinos. She began her relationship with Marco in Nettuno (Rome, Italy) in 2009 and apparently everything was going well. Both her family and friends knew him and never suspected anything wrong with her partner. In fact, Sibora had even talked about plans to marry him and in 2010 they moved to the Costa del Sol in search of work.
Paula had also ended her relationship with the suspect two months before he allegedly murdered her on Wednesday, 17 May, in her apartment in La Carihuela, in Calle San Ginés. Marco, according to the sources consulted, refused to leave the house where the two continued to live together, despite the fact that the young woman asked him to do so on numerous occasions.
At about 11.30am, the victim's cries for help alerted the neighbours. They immediately went to the house, but apparently the only one who responded was her ex-partner. According to SUR sources, without opening the door, the man tried to convince them that nothing serious had happened. He fled, closing the door behind him, as the residents called the emergency services.
In light of what happened with Paula, the family of the missing woman began to suspect that something serious must have happened as early as 2013, when Sibora returned to Italy, to her mother's house, with a suitcase full of clothes and announced that she had left Marco. She spoke of quarrels and disagreements, but never of episodes of abuse.
Sibora ended up returning with her boyfriend to Torremolinos, where they continued to live together for the next few months until she broke up with him for good, shortly she disappeared without a trace.
The alleged murderer, as SUR has learned, has a history of gender violence, although neither Sibora nor Paula ever filed a complaint against him. In the case of her first partner, her relatives now fear that he had assaulted her.
Paula, who had been dating Marco for at least three years, used to tell her closest friends about the beatings that her partner allegedly gave her.
Her only goal was to get her children back, whom social services had taken away from her. Her friends warned her that Marco, a drug user (it was almost the only thing he admitted to the judge), could drag her down the wrong path. The young woman had been attending check-ups for weeks to prove she was clean, hoping to start the process of getting her children back in the following months.
As soon as Sibora disappeared, officers began to work in collaboration with the Italian authorities, as her family had also reported these facts in Italy. The investigation began by taking statements from all the people close to the young woman in Torremolinos. None of them offered any information that could lead to locate her or to find out what had happened.
Then last week the alarms went off after it became known that Paula's alleged murderer had been Sibora's boyfriend. Marco was arrested on 17 May at around 5pm, in the area of La Carihuela. Paula died in her apartment earlier that morning, after she received 14 stab wounds. Her ex-boyfriend allegedly killed her with a knife that he stole six days earlier from the restaurant where he worked and from which he was fired.