Mijas town hall showed its support for Día de los Desaparecidos Sin Causa Aparente (day of the missing), an initiative supported by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) that takes place each year on 9 March.
The day remembers people who have disappeared without just cause and is used to help families overcome the anguish and grief caused by not knowing where their loved ones are, or even if they are still alive.
Mijas currently has five long term cases of missing people, the most reported of which is Irish expat Amy Fitzpatrick, who disappeared without trace at the age of 16 on New Year’s Day in 2008.
The other people on the municipality’s missing list are Isabel Cortés (46), who disappeared in 2008; Juan Antonio Gómez Alarcón (32), who failed to return home in 2010; Francisco Ruiz (63), who vanished in 2011; and John Martin Leach (65), a British actor who left his home in La Cala de Mijas in 2012 and was never seen again.
All of these people have been honoured with a park in Mijas dedicated to their memory. Five trees have been planted in the memorial garden, each with a plaque with a description of the person and the date that they went missing.
"In Mijas we have five long-term missing people who we will always remember on 9 March. Their memory remains indelible in the minds of their families and that is why we are here today. We must maintain hope," the mayor of Mijas, Josele González, said.