Spanish police find body of missing woman inside walls of Torremolinos apartment

The search for Sibora Gagani, who disappeared in 2014, had ended years ago but resumed after a man arrested in May for killing his current partner confessed to the crime

Operarios de la funeraria sacan el cuerpo sin vida de Sibora Gagani
Funeral home workers remove the body from the apartment where she was found in Torremolinos (Málaga).Daniel Pérez (EFE)

Spain’s National Police on Tuesday located the body of Sibora Gagani, a young woman of Albanian descent and Italian citizenship who had disappeared in southern Spain in 2014. Her remains were found concealed inside a wooden crate between two walls of the apartment she had shared with Marco R., 45, an Italian national with whom she was in a relationship at the time.

On May 27 of this year, this same individual allegedly murdered another woman, identified only as Paula, in the same town, the popular tourist resort of Torremolinos. He fled the scene, but was captured by the police and later spontaneously confessed to the earlier crime after seeing a photograph of the young woman on a missing persons poster at the precinct. He said that he had used acid to make the body disappear and that he had walled it up, according to a statement by a central government official.

Members of the Specialized and Violent Crime Unit of the National Police inspected the apartment where the couple had lived together in 2014, an attic located in the neighborhood of El Calvario in Torremolinos. Using an X-ray system, officers detected a wooden crate hidden between two walls. Upon inspection, human remains were found inside and taken to the Institute of Legal Medicine (IML) for autopsy and identification.

Members of the National Police locating the body behind a wall in the apartment.
Members of the National Police locating the body behind a wall in the apartment. POLICÍA NACIONAL (Europa Press)

Although DNA tests are still pending, there is little doubt that the body is that of the missing woman It was Marco R. himself who, after being arrested for stabbing another woman, confessed to having killed and walled up Gagani almost a decade ago.

The current tenants of the apartment had been cooperating with investigators, who searched the property several times by drilling small holes in the walls to introduce cameras, to no avail. They succeeded on Tuesday thanks to the use of an X-ray machine.

“Overwhelmed after learning of the discovery of the body of the young Síbora in the home she shared with Paula’s murderer. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Síbora, and like Paula, may she find the peace that she was denied on earth,” said the mayor of Torremolinos, Margarita del Cid, on social media. The city has decreed a day of mourning over the discovery.

No clues for a decade

Sibora Gagani moved with Marco R. to the Costa del Sol in 2011 and disappeared on July 7, 2014, shortly after breaking off her relationship with him. Since then, her relatives, who live in Italy, have known nothing of her whereabouts. In 2015 the police asked the public to help locate her and the association SOS Desaparecidos distributed her image in an attempt to locate Sibora. As the family explained to the news outlet El Español, it was the alleged murderer who told them that she had left suddenly without saying where she was going.

The investigation into her disappearance was resumed only a few days ago, after Marco R. allegedly stabbed his current partner Paula, 28, several times in another house in Torremolinos. It was the neighbors who called the police after hearing a loud argument. The officers found the lifeless body of the woman and began the search for the suspect, who was found and arrested six hours later thanks to citizen collaboration. After hearing the news, Sibora’s relatives suspected that he had something to do with her disappearance as well.

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