CRIME

‘El Chicle,’ killer of Madrid teenager Diana Quer, given life sentence

José Enrique Abuín Gey has also been ordered by a provincial court in Galicia to pay thousands of euros in compensation to the family of the victim, who went missing in 2016

“El Chicle,” on the last day of the trial.
“El Chicle,” on the last day of the trial.Xoán Rey / EFE

The provincial court of A Coruña in Spain’s northwestern Galicia region today sentenced José Enrique Abuín Gey to the Spanish equivalent of life imprisonment for the murder of Madrid teenager Diana Quer. After an 11-day trial and three-and-a-half days of deliberation, on November 30 a jury found Abuín – better known by the nickname “El Chicle” – guilty of murder, sexual assault, and abduction.

Quer was 18 years old and spending her summer vacation in the Galician town of A Pobra de Caramiñal with her family when she went missing on the night of August 21, 2016, as she was walking home alone during the local fiestas.

Abuín had been a main suspect in the Diana Quer investigation, but the case had been shelved in April of last year for lack of conclusive evidence. The case was reopened after Abuín was arrested in December 2017 for assaulting another young woman. The physical description provided by the victim led investigators to Abuín.

Following his arrest, Abuín confessed to killing Quer and led the police to her body, which he had disposed of at the bottom of a well inside an abandoned warehouse in Rianxo, a town in the northwestern region of Galicia. Despite initially confessing that he had strangled her after trying to rape her, Abuín later claimed that he had accidentally hit her with his car.

After the jury found Abuín guilty, it was up to Judge Ángel Pantín of the A Coruña provincial court to decide whether to sentence Abuín to permanent reviewable prison, the equivalent under Spanish law of a life sentence.

Abuín had been a main suspect in the Diana Quer investigation, but the case had been shelved  for lack of conclusive evidence

The court has also banned El Chicle from coming within a thousand meters of the victim’s parents or sister, as well as prohibiting him from any kind of communication with Quer’s family during his sentence.

Abuín has also been ordered to pay Quer’s parents compensation of €130,000 each, and the sum of €40,000 to his sister.

Quer’s disappearance in 2016 triggered a massive search operation that yielded no results. The teen’s family was subjected to intense public scrutiny by the Spanish media, which dedicated extensive coverage to stories of family fights and reports by people claiming to have seen the young woman anywhere from Spain to Romania.

English version by Melissa Kitson and Simon Hunter.

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