Wanted killer and rapist who fled Spain is captured in Senegal

After fleeing Spanish prison, Guillermo Fernández Bueno was caught crossing border from Mauritania

Guillermo Fernández Bueno.
Guillermo Fernández Bueno.

Guillermo Fernández Bueno, a convicted murderer and rapist, has been captured thousands of kilometers from the Spanish prison he escaped from while on prison leave.

According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, the fugitive was caught trying to cross the border between Senegal and Gambia. He was carrying a fake passport at the moment of his arrest. Police sources say he had managed to cross through Morocco and Mauritania.

Fernández Bueno was serving a 36-year sentence for two rapes and one murder

“International cooperation builds mutual confidence. It has allowed for the arrest of this individual in record time. This wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago,” said Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who indicated he wants to strengthen Spain’s cooperation with Morocco and Mauritania “even more.”

An international arrest warrant was issued for Fernández Bueno when he failed to return from a seven-day prison leave on July 22. While he had a week’s head start, investigators detected the fugitive when he entered Senegal from Mauritania without authorization. Senegalese police arrested the suspect based on his physical description; he was carrying a fake passport but a fingerprint check matched police records.

According to police sources he was traveling with his girlfriend, a social worker who had met the fugitive while working as a volunteer at his former prison in Santander. She had disappeared at the same time as the convicted rapist.

This wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska

Fernández Bueno was serving a 36-year sentence for two rapes and one murder when he escaped on leave from Dueso penitentiary in Cantabria, in northern Spain. He began enjoying temporary prison leaves in 2012, and had walked in and out of the penitentiary “over 40 times” before, according to prison sources.

But when he did not return from his last leave, the national police immediately triggered a search operation. The law enforcement agency also shared Fernández Bueno’s photograph on Twitter and asked for citizen cooperation to locate the escapee.

In his 17 years in prison, police sources say Fernández Bueno’s behavior was exemplary. “He has participated in many volunteer re-integration programs: the Sexual Assailant Therapy class, the Living Without Violence course, the Impulse Control program ... he also served as a support member in suicide prevention programs.”

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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