CRIME

Kidnapped Almería baby found dead with blows to her head

Suspect had driven off with woman’s baby after the two had apparently spent time together in a farmhouse

The 16-month-old baby who was kidnapped last week in Almería has been found dead from blows to her head after surviving some days in captivity, authorities said on Friday.

The infant’s body was found in a water storage tank in Fiñana on Thursday after police had arrested 25-year-old Jonathan Moya González. The suspect, according to law enforcement authorities, has a history as a small-time hood who perpetrated swindles by posing as a police officer.

The young girl’s body was found at a depth of six meters at the bottom of the tank. A preliminary investigation shows that she may have survived between two and five days before she was found. On December 20, Moya González was riding with the baby and her mother in a vehicle near Gérgal. After faking a breakdown, the suspect told the woman to get out and push before driving off with the girl, sources said.

The Civil Guard arrested the suspect on Thursday at his father's house in the small village of Fiñana, some 50 kilometers from the provincial capital.

Little is known about the connection between the mother, Gemma María C., and the alleged kidnapper as the case is under judicial secrecy. It is thought they may have arranged to meet at a farmhouse through a social network site.

A massive search operation involving helicopters, dog-handling units and judicial police was put into effect after Gemma María C. reported her child missing at a Civil Guard post in Gérgal on December 20.

According to witnesses and residents of the isolated parish, González and the child's mother had arranged the tryst and spent a few days at the farmhouse. Afterward, the suspect drove off with the child in his car when Gemma María C. stepped out of the vehicle. She walked through the mountains in search of aid and was found by two locals who took her to a restaurant, from where she alerted the Civil Guard. She was then taken to hospital suffering from an anxiety attack.

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