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Mari Luz's father rejects revenge and says he trusts the police's work

Diário de Notícias

Donations will be used to help search for other missing children

"I had a goal which was to find Mari Luz. I've found her. Now, I'm going to try to find the person who is guilty of my daughter's death. Not for revenge, but so justice can be done. But I'm in no hurry, and I don't want to raise expectations, because I trust the work of the professionals who are investigating, who are serious and committed".

Two days after the funeral of the five-year-old child, whose body was found last Friday, floating in the river in Huelva, one-and-a-half months after she was abducted from the El Torrejon neighbourhood, the father, Juan Jose Cortes, participated yesterday, at the Gypsy Romano Drom Association, in a press conference to "thank everyone the human warmth and the commitment in the searches, during which many even sacrificed their work".

The thankfulness extended into "Portugal, France, Holland, Italy and into countries of Latin America".

Juan Cortes, who was accompanied by eight relatives, transmitted an image of serenity. But he could not hold his tears when he remembered that the child's mother, just like the rest of the family, "will be marked forever". Also the news that was given to Mari Luz's two brothers was remembered as "a very difficult moment".

"I need time to meditate", Juan Cortes noted, underlining that now all he wants to do is "to rest and to live this moment in silence, in pain and in privacy". After he insisted that he does "not want revenge", he stated that he expects results from the investigation "in medium term". Therefore, he rejects "speculations and precipitations, until there is official information". At the end,he was applauded by his relatives, who embraced him. The 30 thousand euros of donations that were deposited in a bank account, which was opened in January, to help find the child, will be used to pay namely for the forensics expert who performed the second autopsy that was requested by the family, said the spokesman, Luis Molina, during a meeting with Portuguese journalists. What is left may be channeled to help search for other missing children in Spain.

The Father of Mari Luz asks time to mourn and then he will search for the guilty person(s)


Juan José Cortés, Mari Luz’s father, has asked for time to weep and to overcome what has happened, in order to be able to find the guilty person or persons.

In a press conference in the Drom Gypsy Association in El Torrejón, where his family lives, and surrounded by family and friends, Juan José indicated that he needed time “I need time and so does my home, in order to meditate and weep in silence for the loss of my daughter.

He said that things “are not going to remain like this, before my life’s objective was to find my daughter, I have found her, now to find the guilty person, not for revenge, but for justice”.

However, he has confirmed that, despite being the person most interested in knowing what happened to his daughter, he “is in no hurry, the urgency was to find Mari Luz, I am not in a hurry now, let justice take its time, not rush and not provide false information, because to speculate causes disturbance, false hope and could increase the hurt we have already”.

In his opinion, the best thing “is to wait for the judge’s conclusion or for the result of the police investigation” which, he says will not be complemented with other private investigations, because “that would be absurd, the best professionals are working on the official investigation and I know that they are working 200% and I trust them”.

Furthermore, he requested the help of all to find out who was responsible, in the same way as when he was trying to find his daughter, “our's is an irreparable damage, but I do not want this to happen again, I am going to fight for my daughter, but also so that children in general are safer”.

With regard to the news that has appeared in different media stating that what happened to the little girl could have been an accident, her father made clear that it “is hasty to confirm or deny this possibility until there is an official report”.

After thanking all those who have helped to look for his daughter and the messages of support received from Spain, Europe and the US, he turned to the media and asked them to treat any information about the case with “delicacy”, at the same time saying that “I have said all that I needed to say and I will say more when everything is over, now I request that my daughter’s and my family’s name return to anonymity”.

Finally, he referred to the pain felt since hearing of his daughter’s death, “that can not be explained, your soul is ripped out” and said that one of his greatest fears was to bury one of his children, which he had sadly had to do, “but life has to go on, I have two more children whom I have to care for and make them the happiest children in the world, I know that the best present that I can give them is to get justice for their sister”.

Translations by Ines and Astro


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A spokesman for the McCanns said they were aware of reports that the body of Mari Luz Cortes had been discovered in the southern Spanish city of Huelva, just 120 miles away from where their daughter Madeleine disappeared. ...
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