Spanish fugitive arrested in New York over murder of girlfriend 20 years ago

Spanish police working with American FBI agents found a fugitive accused of murdering his girlfriend nearly 20 years ago in Spain - and just four months before the statute of limitations would have ended.

Spanish fugitive arrested in New York over murder of girlfriend 20 years ago
File photo: Nomadsoul1/Depositphotos

Spanish National police reported on Friday that they had arrested a Spanish fugitive in New York, with the help of the Spanish embassy in Washington, the FBI and American immigration authorities from the ICE.

Police believe that he is responsible for the murder of his girlfriend in 1997.

The Spanish national with Dominican roots had been dating the Colombian mother of two for six months before her death. Police say she had wanted to end the relationship weeks before, and the man had refused. The suspect started to act resentful towards her and intimidated her in direct and indirect ways, even reportedly threatening to kill her with a gun.

Then on October 5th 1997, police say the man turned up to the woman’s home in Barcelona where she lived with her children and other family members, saying he needed to retrieve some documents from her. Police believe that through either violence, intimidation or deception, the man managed to get the woman into his car, after which point she was not seen again.

The next day, the man boarded a flight and arrived in New York, where he has since been living secretly, using fake documents, the FBI confirmed. It is believed that he never returned to Spain after that.

Eight months after he left for New York, the woman’s body was discovered by chance in an area with a lot of vegetation in nearby Viladecans, close to Barcelona’s airport.

Spanish police explained in their report that they had been able to track the suspect down with the help of not only American, but also Dominican authorities, and were able to deduce that the man had been using a new identity in New York.

The man is now being held in a detention centre in the US, awaiting his extradition to Spain.


Spain court shelves probe into John McAfee prison death

A Spanish court has closed a probe into the death of software mogul John McAfee at a prison near Barcelona in 2021, ruling he committed suicide, court documents showed Friday.

Spain court shelves probe into John McAfee prison death

The 75-year-old founder of the popular anti-virus McAfee was found dead in his cell back in June 23, 2021.

Just hours earlier, a Spanish court had authorised his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges.

Although an autopsy determined he had died by suicide, his widow demanded further checks and another autopsy, arguing that McAfee was not suicidal.

But in a ruling dated July 24 that was made public on Friday, the court investigating McAfee’s death said there are “no indications of anything other than a violent death of suicidal origin, nothing at all”.

Nothing in the final autopsy that questioned the conclusions of the original findings, the court added in its ruling, which cannot be appealed.

McAfee was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020 just before boarding a flight to Istanbul.

According to an indictment filed in a US court, he failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story.

Had he been convicted, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison.

McAfee in 1987 founded the computer security software company and ran it for seven years before resigning.

His life after that became a headline-grabbing mix of controversies involving drugs, weapons and even murder.

McAfee moved to Belize in Central America and made headlines when his next-door neighbour was mysteriously murdered in 2012. The crime was never solved.

McAfee claimed he was nowhere near the victim at the time, but local police wanted to interview him as a person of interest in the case.

After the police found him living with a 17-year-old girl and discovered a large arsenal of weapons in his home, McAfee fled Belize.