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Suspect confesses accidental death of Mari Luz Cortés

Spanish authorities are questioning two persons.

One of the suspects of the death of Mari Luz confessed today to the Spanish police that the girl died in an accident, falling down the stairs. Santiago del Valle García also said that the girl went with him to his house willingly. The man is one of three neighbours of the Cortés family detained yesterday in the afternoon by the Spanish police and he had already a previous record as a paedophile.

The principal suspect of the death of Mari Luz lived a few meters away from the Cortés family. The man went away from the district the following day after the disappearance of the child, with fear of retaliations. The Police, later on, found and questioned Santiago in Granada. He was detained some days later after the arrest, but was released at that time since there was no sufficient proof to indict him.

The police arrested him again yesterday in Pajaroncillo, a village of 100 inhabitants in the hills of Cuenca, hundreds of kilometres away of Huelva, together with his wife, Isabel, and sister. This arrest was done as a result of new evidence arising from the autopsy carried out on Mari Luz Cortés. He had travelled there, to receive his monthly pension, according to police sources. After his initial statement, during which he confessed to the crime, he now assures that the child "fell" and accidentally died. Frightened and with fear of being incriminated, he launched Mari Luz body to the river Huelva.

His wife, Isabel García, has also been arrested, although initially there is no suspicion that she has intervened in the actions, but only to interrogate her. This man was the number one suspect of the homicide since the first moment, mainly because the little girl was last seen alive while walking in front of his house, in the same neighbourhood, El Torrejon, where she resided with her family. Mari Luz disappeared on January 13, when she went to buy sweets at a kiosk. The sister of the suspect was freed meantime. The couple keeps on being questioned.

The 52-year-old man, Santiago del Valle García, had already been arrested for paedophilia and sexual abuses, including to one of his daughters, which was the motive why a judge had issued an order to keep the child at a distance from her father, to prevent him from harassing her again, according to police sources. The Spanish authorities suspect that the cause of the crime has a sexual nature. In 2002, Santiago was convicted by a court in Sevilla of continued sexual abuse against his own daughter, he tried to accuse the gymnastics teacher of abusing his 5 year old daughter and claimed compensations of 60.100 euros.

He was condemned to 2 years and 9 months of imprisonment. In a later audience in the year of 2006, a judge considered that Santiago suffered 75% of paranoid schizophrenia and that his wife, Isabel suffered 65%. They children, a girl who has now 15 and a 9 year old boy, were taken from their custody and were sent to a 'foster' care family.

The parents of Mari Luz suspected this man from the first moment. Juan José Cortés, said this morning: “We know that it is him, we are sure, and this is no surprise to me”

The authorities have not yet accused the suspects of murder, but they believe that the interrogations are going to bring new evidences on the disappearance and death of Mari Luz.

The corpse of the five-year-old child appeared floating in the river Huelva on the last 7th of March. Nobody knew where she was during 54 days.

Later on at 5pm (Portuguese Hour) her father is going to give a press conference, followed by a silent march with the residents of the Torrejón to support Mari Luz family.

The neighbours of El Torrejon have shown how upset they are about the detention of these two persons, while the parents and other relatives of the little girl don't leave their houses, except for the grandfather, who did not comment on the events and left in his car. The neighbours, who have gathered at the front door of the arrested couple, are "certain" that the couple is guilty. Now, they demand "tough" justice for the detainees.

Update: Juan José Cortés according to his statements during the press conference, there are other suspects, but he has urged for calm because "at the end, everything will be known".

The father of Mari Luz has assured that while he cannot feel happy, he is "satisfied" about knowing who ended the little girl's life and that Justice will be done.

The child's father confessed that the pain that they endured during the 54 days that the little girl remained missing was so great, that he does not even wish it upon "my daughter's murderer", but rather asked for "Justice to act fully".

He referred to the presumable killer as a person who has been "able to fool the judges and to mock Justice" for many years. He guaranteed that behind the innocent face that he often simulates, "hides a murderer who has abused many children". Furthermore, he accused the detainee's wife of being an accomplice "she knows whom she lives with, she knows perfectly what happened and she concealed a crime for a long time", he added.

Juan José Cortés is confident that Justice will act "with a hard hand" on Santiago del Valle and his wife. He says he wants no condolences, because at the end the one who committed the action, will pay for it.

But he lamented that he had not found the cadaver of Mari Luz on the first night, because he says he is convinced that he passed "by her side".

Juan Jose Cortés expects that they (the suspects) don't flee from justice using the psychological and psychiatric arguments.

Meanwhile, 2 brothers of Santiago and his wife, Isabel García, are accused of covering the crime, and of being accomplices. Tomorrow at 10am, there's an audience in the court of Cuenca, from there they will travel to Huelva where a Judge from a Court of First Instance is going to hear them.

Sources: SIC , 20minutos , El Mundo and El País

Meanwhile the McCanns Spokesman, as usual tries to usurpate again the Cortés family tragedy.[Remember the Cortés family asked the McCanns NOT to use Mari Luz picture in the McCanns Poster Campaign, the McCanns did NOT respect the Cortés family wishes]:

"Kate and Gerry McCann have demanded Portuguese police find out where a Spanish paedophile arrested yesterday was on the day their daughter Madeleine disappeared."

Clarence Mitchell, said today: "We hope the Portuguese police will be liaising with the Spanish police to establish this man's movements around the time Madeleine disappeared."

"We have no indication there is a direct link between the two cases."

"But given the proximity of the places Madeleine and Mari Luz disappeared from and the similarity in their ages, we believe it's important the Portuguese police make absolutely sure there's no connection now there's been an arrest."

Source:Daily Mail


  1. E a linda pequenina lutou com toda a garra cigana e espanhola. BRAVO,MARI LUZ.

  2. Marí Luz Cortés. Known as the Spanish Madeleine in the British press

    Mari Luz Cortes is Mari Luz Cortes in her very own right
    NOT a “Spanish Madeleine”

  3. Who the F*** are they to DEMAND anything?

  4. That rat,Mitchell is just unbelievable,he tried again a "counter-offensive" to spin up more publicity for the McCanns. Until when will other children and their fates depend on the ludicrous 'connections' the McCanns and the British media do. No wonder in such a situation that nobody believe in Maddie's 'control freak' parents.


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