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Decapitated corpse in Marbella may be a victim of gender violence

A man has been arrested for breaching a restraining order to protect a missing domestic worker as tests continue to identify the woman found on Sunday

JUAN CANO

The decapitated body washed ashore in Marbella on Sunday afternoon, 8 January, may belong to a woman who went missing hours earlier, relatives said.

Guardia Civil officers are investigating the circumstances of the death of a woman whose body was found on a beach in Marbella without her head or hands and with a wide cut on her abdomen.

The discovery was made at around 5pm on Sunday 8 January, when a group of customers at a restaurant located on the Marbesa residential development spotted what appeared to be the body of a person floating in the water.

Eyewitnesses immediately alerted the National Police’s 091 incident room, which sent officers to the scene.

The initial hypothesis was that the woman could have died when a cocaine capsule broke inside her body and the drug traffickers, before disposing of the body, had extracted the drug.

However, so far, there is no evidence to support this. An autopsy, which began on Monday at the Institute of Legal Medicine in Malaga is expected to be completed this Tuesday. Sources said the body had only been in the water for a short time.

On Sunday night, the National Police received a phone call from a person who had seen a video of the corpse on social media and said it could be their sister, based on her anatomy.

The caller told officers that their sister, who worked as a domestic worker, had been missing since Sunday morning, when she left the house where she was employed. The woman was a victim of gender violence. In recent weeks a man who had been in a brief relationship with the caller’s sister had been subject to a restraining order. According to the missing woman’s relatives, this man had violated the order and had, allegedly, continued to harass and threaten the victim.

The National Police located the man on Monday morning and he was arrested for an alleged offence of breaching the protection order and a search was carried out at his home, which he authorised. He is not under investigation in relation to the decapitated corpse.

The Guardia Civil, which took charge of the investigation as the body was found at sea, continues to work on the identification of the victim, in collaboration with the National Police. DNA tests are under way to identify the dead woman.