Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The woman arrested for keeping her ex-lover’s head in a box “because it was the only memory I had of him” was allegedly left the package as a warning to pay up by the hitmen she allegedly hired to kill him.
The incident occurred in the town of Castro Urdiales in the northern Spanish region of Cantabria in early October when the head of former Spanish banker Jesus Maria Baranda, 66, was found by a friend of the suspect.
Now under arrest, the suspect, identified as 61-year-old Carmen Merino, initially told cops that “someone had left it (the box) by the front door of my house and I kept it because it was the only memory I had of him”.
However, new revelations reported by Pablo Munoz, journalist for the Spanish newspaper ABC, claimed that Merino hired hitmen to kill her ex-boyfriend and that they left the head on her doorstep as a warning to pay up.
When speaking to local media, Munoz said: “They did their job and burned the body to make him disappear, but she did not pay them.”
Munoz was referring to the hitmen Merino allegedly hired to kill her former partner. The number of assassins involved in the incident is unclear.
Munoz said the hitmen decided to “put her partner’s skull on her doorstep” to pressure her into paying.
He added: “Out of fear of the police showing up at any moment, she decided to give the box with the head inside to her friend” because the authorities were still searching for Baranda at the time.
The victim went missing in February but the family did not report his disappearance until March, according to local media.
Both the victim’s brother and the suspect alerted the Spanish Civil Guard and she reportedly told officers that her partner had left with all her cash and she had heard nothing from him since February.
Officers believed he had fled voluntarily at first but then found that there had been no movements in his bank accounts and he had not taken his car with him.
When the authorities told Merino they were coming to her house on 10th April to continue their investigations, she allegedly wrapped the victim’s severed head in plastic and put it in a gift box.
She then went to her friend’s house and allegedly gave her the box telling her it was full of sex toys her boyfriend had left behind.
The friend put the box in a wardrobe in her guest bedroom before removing it because of the smell.
Merino told Civil Guard officers that she had been communicating with the victim on WhatsApp but when officers asked to see her mobile phone, she said it had fallen in the toilet and claimed that “he left because he did not love me anymore”.
The suspect is still under arrest and the investigation is ongoing.
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