As police began their search in the alleged paedophile's home on Thursday, more details continue to emerge about a case which has shocked Spanish society.
Forty-two-year-old Antonio Ortiz Martínez wasn’t what the public might have expected a child sex offender to look like.
He appears young for his age, is obsessed with bodybuilding and works as a car salesman.
But behind this relatively normal façade is a man with an “extensive criminal record” including kidnappings, violent robberies and the sexual abuse of a six-year-old girl, a crime he spent seven years behind bars for.
This criminal background allowed Ortiz to understand how Spanish police and forensic teams carry out their investigations, online daily 20 minutos reported.
His job as a car salesman meant he could quickly sell off the vehicles he’d used for the child abductions and not be tracked down so easily by police.
Known as the ‘paedophile of Ciudad Lineal’, the Madrid district where the children went missing, Ortiz fled the capital and stayed with his uncles in the northern Spanish city of Santander when the search intensified.
But one of the five victims he’d drugged and abused this summer was able to tell police about a mole he had on his face, a key piece of evidence which helped officers identify him.
Operation Candy, codenamed after Ortiz's modus operandi, saw police break into his uncles’ Santander residence at 7am on Wednesday, as can be seen in the video below.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he shouted out as officers struggled to handcuff him.