Missing Spanish boy Gabriel Cruz found dead in car

A file photo dated on 08 March 2018 of Angel Cruz (C) and Patricia Ramirez (L), parents of eight-year-old Gabriel Cruz (portrait) during a rally to ask for the boy comes back home in Almeria, southern Spain (issued 11 March 2018). Image copyright EPA

The body of a missing boy has been found in the boot of a car being driven by his father’s partner, officials in Spain say.

Eight-year-old Gabriel Cruz’s disappearance in the southern province of Almeria in late February captured the nation’s attention.

After a missing person’s alert went viral, a search involving over 4,000 police and volunteers was launched.

Police have arrested the father’s partner, who they had pulled over.

“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, according to the AFP news agency.

Gabriel was last seen on 27 February when he left his grandmother’s house in the village of Las Hortichuelas in the municipality of Níjar.

He was supposed to go over to a neighbour’s for a play date, but he never returned.

On 3 March, the boy’s father Angel Cruz and his now arrested partner, Ana Julia Quezada, found a T-shirt with his DNA 10 km (6 miles) from Nijar.

Spanish media report that the police have been monitoring Ms Quezada since then.

At a rally attended by thousands of supporters on Friday, Gabriel’s mother and father said they had “more hope than ever” of finding their son. An image of a blue fish – inspired by Gabriel’s love of the sea – was shared on social media with the hashtag #TodosSomosGabriel, meaning “we are all Gabriel”.

Mr Zoido tweeted on Sunday to say he had spoken with the young boy’s parents, conveying “the profound pain and shock of the government and all Spaniards”.

The interior minister called on the public to respect the police’s investigation by not spreading hoax reports about the case.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also tweeted his condolences, saying: “I share with all Spaniards the pain of losing Gabriel.”

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