This was the first report I read about the arrest of a married couple in connection with the death of little Mari Luz. With thanks to Fraidycat at the 3Arguidos forum for the news.
"Madrid - A couple has been arrested in connection with the death of 5-year-old girl Mari Luz Cortes, whose disappearance shocked southern Spain, police said Wednesday. The detainees lived in the same neighbourhood in the city of Huelva as Mari Luz's family.
The circumstances of the death of Mari Luz, whose body was found floating in a river on March 7 after two months of searches, have been unclear.
The case of Mari Luz has been compared with that of 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, who went missing on May 3, 2007, in a southern Portuguese holiday resort not far from where Mari Luz disappeared. The fate of Madeleine, who made headlines all over the world, has not been clarified."
Typically Spanish 26/03/08
Mari Luz's father, Juan José, has said the family had thought it was the man now arrested from the very start of the case
We have more details on what now appears to be the arrest of a married couple in connection with the disappearance and death of the 5 year old girl from Huelva in Spain, Marí Luz Cortés. Known as the Spanish Madeleine in the British press, she vanished when going to buy some crisps on the previous January 13 in the Torrejón district of Huelva. Her body finally appeared floating in the Ria de Huelva on March 7."
" The man, a known paedophile named only as Santiago G., lived locally in the Torrejón area and had been a suspect of the family from the start A man, who was arrested in Spain yesterday is reported to have confessed to his involvement in the death of Mari Luz Cortés, the five year old girl who vanished in Huelva on January 13. The man, named by the victim’s father Juan José, as Santiago G., lived locally in the same Torrejón district of the city, but has recently moved to Cuenca with his wife to avoid reprisals."
Typically Spanish states that reporting restrictions have not been lifted, but later in the report, there is this:
"Europa Press reports that the arrested man has now confessed, to the police but not to a judge, to his involvement in the disappearance of the five year old, but says that she died accidentally. According to his statement to police, he said that she fell and died accidentally when she was with him ‘at her own choice’. The paper reports that this man had been arrested earlier in Granada just a few days after Mari Luz vanished, and was released on a lack of any evidence. Police say that they are sure that the man is responsible for the death of the child, and they believe that the motive was sexual. He is also reported to have a distancing order in place against his own children. The analysis from the police forensic department indicates however that the man could not manage to sexually force himself on the child."
Every day when I check to see who has been visiting this blog, I see that so many people have reached it through Google, searching for news of Mari Luz. It is heartening to see that so many people around the world have taken an interest in this little Spanish girl. It saddens me, though, to see Mari Luz referred to as, "The Spanish Madeleine." She is the Spanish Mari Luz, a little girl whose home, family and life experience is a long way in distance and background from the gates of "Orchard House," in Rothley Leicestershire, UK.
The Daily Mail is reporting the arrest of the married couple, with this headline:
"Spanish paedophile' arrested for murder of girl linked to Madeleine's disappearance."
Daily Mail 26/03/08
She doesn't even have a name for the Daily Mail, just a connection with the Madeleine case. Clarence Mitchell has made a statement:
"Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said today: "We hope the Portuguese police will be liaising with the Spanish police to establish this man's movements around the time Madeleine disappeared.
"We have no indication there is a direct link between the two cases.
"But given the proximity of the places Madeleine and Mari Luz disappeared from and the similarity in their ages, we believe it's important the Portuguese police make absolutely sure there's no connection now there's been an arrest."The proximity of these places? Isn't Huelva approx 120 miles from Praia da Luz? That's around the same distance as my home in Warwickshire to Liverpool. If a child disappeared in Liverpool and one disappeared in Warwick, would anyone refer to, "proximity."? It's also approx Perth to Carlisle. Is that proximity? Well, to me it isn't! Then I guess if eating dinner at a tapas bar, 100 yards or so from an unlocked apartment, where you have left your children, is like, "eating in your own back garden," Clarence et al have a very different notion of, "proximity," to most people!