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Man arrested after living for a month with the corpse of a friend he had stabbed to death

Police were alerted when a neighbour reported that she had not seen the victim for some time and there was a strange smell coming from his flat in Campanillas

JUAN CANO / ÁLVARO FRÍAS Malaga

It was Saturday 16 April. The call came in at 11.30am. A woman from Campanillas said she hadn’t seen her neighbour for days and a strange smell was coming from his flat. Two Local Police officers went to investigate, along with two firefighters who tried to break the lock of the front door.

As they began to open it, they saw a shadow reflected in a window and then someone pulled the door open. It was a man, wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up, who didn’t respond to any of their questions. He appeared to be “out of it”, mentally, they noted.

The smell became a stench. Because the man wasn’t answering them, the police went further into the apartment to see if someone was injured. In the bedroom, they found the body of a man in an advanced stage of decomposition.

The man who opened the door has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He had been living with the corpse for about a month. The Homicide and Scientific Group of the National Police force is now investigating.

Argument

Although it isn’t known for certain what happened, it appears that the incident took place at the end of February or beginning of March. The suspect, 51, has told a judge that his friend, who was 49, had nowhere to go and so he had put him up. Both are drug addicts and he said they had a fierce argument when he accused his friend of taking some drug-related items that he wanted for his own use. His guest took it badly and, he said, attacked him with a knife later when he was asleep, injuring him in the hand and the chest.

He then claims that he managed to grab the knife and stabbed the other man four times, which he says was in self-defence. When he realised his friend was dead, it seems that he closed the bedroom door and never went in there again, sleeping on the sofa as if the body did not exist and nothing had happened.

His lawyer asked the judge to release him from custody pending trial because he had been acting in self-defence and was unlikely to try to flee from justice. The prosecution disagreed because of the severity of the crime, and the man has been remanded in prison with no possibility of bail.