Man kills ex-wife, her mother and sister in northwestern Spain

The suspect, who allegedly shot the three women with a handgun, turns himself over to the Civil Guard

Civil Guard officers with a neighbor of the victims.
Civil Guard officers with a neighbor of the victims.Óscar Corral

A man has confessed to killing his ex-wife as well as her mother and sister in Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia.

José Luis Abet, 41, shot his ex in the presence of their two children, ages four and seven. Then he walked into the family home and killed his mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

A neighbor says Abet had been “acting strangely”

The crimes took place in the hamlet of Carracido, an administrative division of Valga, in Pontevedra province.

Afterwards the suspect went back to his house in Bertamiráns, in the municipality of Ames, around 20 kilometers from the scene of the crime.

The man then called the Civil Guard station and confessed to the killings. A source at the law enforcement agency said that the suspect was arrested at home and brought down to the station.

The couple were going through divorce proceedings. There are no records of domestic violence complaints.

Civil Guard officers outside the house where the killings took place.
Civil Guard officers outside the house where the killings took place.OSCAR CORRAL (EL PAÍS)

Sources who were close to the victims said that Abet showed up early on Monday at the house that the couple had built for themselves when they got married. The husband had moved out when they split up.

Alba Boquete Jamardo, 39, was getting ready to go to work when her ex showed up. Her sister Sandra, 27, and mother María Elena, 59, were there to help her with the kids, as they usually did at this time of the day.

Alba was standing outside the car, with the children inside the vehicle, when Abet approached her and shot her with a handgun, according to a reconstruction of events provided by Maica Larriba, a government official in Pontevedra.

After killing his ex-wife, Abet walked into the property and shot the other two women.

A hearse leaves with one of the bodies in Valga, Pontevedra.
A hearse leaves with one of the bodies in Valga, Pontevedra.Álvaro Ballesteros (Europa Press)

The residents of this hamlet of around 40 homes heard the shots. One of them approached the scene of the crime and took the children to safety. A close relative has taken them in their care, said the mayor, José María Bello, in statements to the news agency Europa Press.

The suspect owns a frozen food business and has a child from an earlier relationship. The neighbors said that the couple had been having problems for a couple of years, although nobody could say how long they had been separated.

One local resident said that in recent weeks Abet “had been behaving very strangely and was getting along very poorly with the community.”

Sources familiar with the investigation said that the suspect did not resist arrest when the Civil Guard showed up at the home that he was now sharing with his own mother and sister.

The murder weapon has not been found yet. Abet has no gun license and no criminal record. Investigators believe he may have obtained the weapon on the black market, which would suggest a premeditated crime.

In March, a 47-year-old man shot his wife and then committed suicide in this same municipality of Valga. So far this year, 40 women have been killed by their current or former partners. The tally since 2003, when records started being kept, is 1,015.

English version by Susana Urra.


More information

Archived In

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS