Gardener Bartolomé Gallego in the area where he found the skull. SUR
Police find more human bones after gardener discovers woman's skull next to suitcase in Benahavis

Police find more human bones after gardener discovers woman's skull next to suitcase in Benahavis

Guardia Civil investigators are reviewing the missing person cases of women in recent years who have disappeared in Malaga, Cadiz or Seville provinces

Juan Cano


Friday, 28 April 2023, 11:13


Spain’s Guardia Civil force has found more human skeletal remains following the grim discovery of a woman’s skull next to a suitcase in the Malaga municipality of Benahavis.

The police search, SUR can reveal, took place on Thursday, 27 April after gardener Bartolomé Gallego first raised the alarm on Monday when he initially discovered the skull, which had suffered a blow, and then other bones and women’s clothing.

The latest remains found are also believed to be those of the same woman.

The Guardia Civil is working on the theory that the woman’s body was transported inside the suitcase found at the residential development in the Colinas de la Quinta area, but it has not been ruled out that she may have also been buried. In that was the case, she could have been unearthed by scavenging animals, which resulted in her bones being scattered around in different places.

Young woman

Yesterday’s discovery will almost allow the completed the reconstruction woman’s corpse, but some vertebrae were still missing, police sources said.

Police investigators believed the corpse may be that of a young woman who could have been dead for at least 10 years. Forensic investigations will continue at the insitute of legal medicine (IML) in Malaga.

Investigators will analyse DNA from the remains while also looking at disappearances in the provinces of Malaga, Cadiz and Seville, in a bid to identify the woman.

Found by gardener

The gardener Bartolomé Gallego found the skull on 24 April about 12.30pm: "Last Friday when I passed by everything was fine, but on Monday, when I came out of the sewage treatment plant, I looked around and saw something strange. It was a white object, it looked like a children's toy or a ball.

Gardener Bartolomé Gallego, "I saw that it was a skull and I was scared."
Gardener Bartolomé Gallego, "I saw that it was a skull and I was scared." SUR

“When I got closer, I saw that it was a skull and I was scared. It made my hair stood on end,” he said.

The worker decided to take a couple of photographs with his mobile phone and sent them to the community administrator, who told him to call the Guardia Civil immediately. After a few minutes, police patrols swarmed the area and a coroner arrived to remove the body.

The skull was found about 10 metres away from a large travel suitcase. It did not appear, to the naked eye, to have been buried, Gallego said. Next to it was a bag with a bra, a mop and a woman's handkerchief with stains that were now being analysed.

Within a radius of 10 metres, police discovered more bone remains. They also found discs from a radial saw which, for the moment, have not been linked to the incident.

Construction on the residential area where the remains were found, in the Colinas de la Quinta area, started more than two years ago and the first residents have been living there for about six months.

A decade ago, the area was undeveloped, so another of the working theories is that the body had been buried and had been unearthed during construction.

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