DIANA QUER DISAPPEARANCE

Missing Spanish teen’s mother given “tough interrogation” by police

Spain’s Civil Guard seek to clear up “contradictions” over initial statement

Diana Quer's family.
Diana Quer's family.

The Spanish Civil Guard, which is looking into the disappearance of Diana Quer, says it has ended a search of the area around the small community of A Pobra do Caramiñal in Galicia, where the 18-year-old went missing on August 22, and is now focusing on her mother, who on Tuesday was subjected to what sources close to the force describe as “a very tough interrogation due to the contradictions in her statements.”

Investigators have been trying to establish whether Diana Quer may have gotten into a vehicle on the night of her disappearance after attending the village fiestas.

Police are analyzing CCTV footage from more than 40 cameras on nearby roads and in the village where Quer went missing

Quer was originally thought to have disappeared along the path leading back to the family’s holiday home in a residential estate located in the outskirts of A Pobra do Caramiñal, some 55 kilometers southwest of the cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela.

Analysis of her cellphone’s positioning signals points to her having returned to the house sometime around 3am.

This possibility ties in with other clues found inside the home, where investigators located the clothes that she wore to the fiestas. This suggests that she may have walked in, changed, and left again for unknown reasons. Some witnesses have testified to seeing the teen back at the fiestas around 4am.

Missing Spanish teenager Diana Quer.
Missing Spanish teenager Diana Quer.

Investigators want to know how it is possible the missing girl’s mother, Diana López-Pinel, didn’t hear her daughter return home an hour after calling her mother, or why she told police her daughter was wearing red shorts and a t-shirt when the clothes were lying on her bed, suggesting she had changed her clothes before leaving the house for the last time.

Police officers also questioned López-Pinel for several hours as to why she did not tell the police about her troubled relationship with her two daughters. Diana Quer’s father, who is separated from López-Pinel, told media earlier this month that a court had taken custody of the couple’s youngest daughter, Valeria, away from the mother. López-Pinel also failed to tell police that she and the younger daughter had both visited a health center days before Diana’s disappearance, where they were both treated for anxiety.

Juan Carlos Quer has made public statements to the effect that the court’s decision comes “very late,” suggesting that his daughters phoned him for help on several occasions. He has also appeared on television shows, asking Diana to call home to let everyone know whether she is OK. “Whatever problems you may have, we can solve them; there are many people here who love you and support you,” he said.

López-Pinel’s lawyer, Pedro de Bernardo, told EL PAÍS on Tuesday he had not yet spoken to his client about her version of events leading up to Diana Quer’s daughter. López-Pinel is also due to give testimony to judges overseeing the investigation in the nearby town of Ribeira on Friday, one of whom ordered custody of the younger daughter, Valeria, to be transferred to her ex-husband.

Police say that they are also continuing to question friends and acquaintances of Diana Quer. They have also been analyzing CCTV footage from more than 40 cameras on nearby roads and in the village itself.

“Anybody who was driving in the area that night will be contacted by us sooner or later: our priority is to locate everybody who met Diana that night and in find out in which car she was traveling after going home to change her clothes,” said a Civil Guard spokesperson.

The search has now extended beyond Spain. An international alert is out in Poland, Greece, Portugal, France, Switzerland and Belgium, the missing persons association SOS Desaparecidos told the news agency Europa Press.

For the moment, the police say that “all hypotheses are open”, but sources close to the investigation say they believe Diana Quer remains in the area close to where she went missing.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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