Catalan police arrest suspect of double murder at Susqueda reservoir

The alleged killer, 60-year-old Jordi Magentí, had been convicted 21 years ago for killing his ex-wife

Jordi Magentí this morning during his arrest.
Jordi Magentí this morning during his arrest.TONI FERRAGUT

Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, have detained 60-year-old Jordi Magentí Gamell for the murder of two young people at Susqueda reservoir on August 24, 2017. The man’s car, which he used to go fishing in the area, was seen at the scene of the crime, according to police sources.

The suspect denied he was at the reservoir in his Land Rover Defender on August 24

The suspect had been convicted for shooting his ex-wife dead 21 years ago in Anglès, in Girona province. In 2010 he was granted parole.

“I haven’t done anything; they want to burden me with a dead body I didn’t cause.” These are the only audible words spoken by Magentí on Tuesday morning as he was being led by the Catalan police to his home in Anglès for a new search. On Monday the Mossos had spent seven hours inside the property, searching for evidence of the crime.

The bodies of 21-year-old Paula Mas and 23-year-old Marc Hernández were found in a reservoir in Susqueda, in Girona province, on September 26, a month and two days after their disappearance. The young couple had gone there to spend a day in nature and had planned to go kayaking. The autopsy found that the woman had been shot in the head, probably by a 9-millimeter or small bullet. The body of Marc Hernández was too badly decayed to clarify the cause of death.

Search team for the missing couple.
Search team for the missing couple.Toni Ferragut

Investigators have not revealed the motive of the double murder. The Mossos have also arrested the son of the main suspect in Salt for crimes against public health. The accused has denied any involvement in the case and his defense team says that he has an alibi, which is yet to be specified.

Police arrested the suspect in Santa Coloma de Farners, although he resides in Anglès. Under interrogation, Magentí denied that he had been at the reservoir in his Land Rover Defender on August 24. "I didn't do anything. They want to charge me for a crime I didn't commit," he said while being arrested.

The Mossos say there is no sign that the suspect and the murder victims had any personal ties. Investigators are now trying to reconstruct the day of the double murder to clarify the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the two young people.

Jordi Magentí was married again in 2013 to a Colombian woman who left for her home country a few weeks ago. Catalan police had worried he was going to travel to South America, which would have complicated the investigation.

Murder of Pepita García

Magentí fired four shots at his ex-wife in the middle of the street on her 35th birthday in December 1997. Two months before the murder, Pepita García had reported her ex-husband for repeated psychological and physical abuse. She said he had threatened to kill her on numerous occasions but did not mention that he owned firearms.

Magentí in an image taken from social media.
Magentí in an image taken from social media.EPV

After her death, many of their neighbors said they knew about the couple’s constant fighting. In late 1996, García had filed another complaint against Magentí, who was found guilty of abuse.

The day he killed his ex-wife in 1997, Magentí made up an excuse to leave his work early. He then picked up his hunting shotgun from the home of his parents and waited more than an hour and a half opposite García’s home for her to come back. “I killed her because I loved her and I couldn’t bear the idea of living without her,” he explained after killing her with two point-blank shots to the throat.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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