Spanish Boy Found Dead In Car Boot Was Reportedly Strangled On Day He Went Missing

The 8-year-old was found in a car driven by his stepmother


On February 27, 8-year-old Spanish boy Gabriel Cruz left his grandmother’s house in the municipality of Níjar and headed to his friend’s place for a playdate.

But Gabriel never returned home.

After days of searching by thousands, the Spanish government announced on Sunday that the 8-year-old had been found dead in the boot of a car driven by his father’s partner, Ana Julia Quezada.

“This morning, the Civil Guard stopped the companion of Gabriel’s father while she was transporting the little boy’s corpse in the boot of a car,” Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said, reports. 

Ms Quezada was pulled by police and arrested.  

Now, an autopsy report quoted by Spanish media has reportedly revealed that Gabriel was strangled on the same day that he went missing. 

According to the BBC, police have also taken Ms Quezada to key locations to assist their inquiry. It is alleged the Dominican Republic native hid her stepson’s body at a family property in Rodalquilar and was found by police trying to move it.

The BBC also reports that police are reviewing a previous case of a child that died in Ms Quezada’s care in 1996 by accidentally falling out a window. 

The disappearance of Gabriel made national headlines after an alert with his smiling face went viral via social media and mobile messages.

Hundreds of volunteers helped police search for the 8-year-old, while on Friday, thousands gathered at a rally in support of Gabrielle’s mother and father.

“(We) hope we will get Gabriel back soon and that he will return home with his family, which is where a boy who is only eight should be,” father Angel Cruz told reporters on March 3.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy mourned the loss of 8-year-old Gabrielle on Twitter. “I share with all Spaniards the pain of losing Gabriel,” he tweeted. “Rest in peace.”

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