• Spain's news in English

Body discovered and arrest made in Camino de Santiago mystery

AFP · 12 Sep 2015, 15:50

Published: 12 Sep 2015 14:48 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Sep 2015 15:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Denise Pikka Thiem disappeared in April while hiking the Way of Saint James pilgrim trail in northwestern Spain.


Police had resumed their search for her on Thursday near the northern town of Astorga where she was last seen.


Three hundred officers with dogs and a helicopter were deployed in the operation, which focused on wells.


"A person has been arrested and the search has been suspended for the moment," a police source told AFP late Friday, without giving further details.


Spanish newspapers said Saturday that police have found a body on the suspect's property, although authorities could not immediately be reached to confirm the reports.


"The body of the American pilgrim who disappeared on the Way of Saint James on April 5 was found on Friday on the property of the main suspect, in Astorga," the daily El Pais said.


"It is a very large area and ideal for hiding a body," the ABC newspaper said.


The El Mundo daily said: "Police have therefore closed the case. The suspect would the only person charged in the death of Denise."


Hundreds of thousands of tourists and Roman Catholic pilgrims hike the Way of Saint James, known in Spanish as the Camino de Santiago, each year, staying at hostels on their way to the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela.


Thiem has not been heard from since April 4 when she sent a message to a friend saying she was at a point on the trail near Astorga.

The Way of Saint James is hiked by hundreds of thousands of tourists and Roman Catholic pilgrims who stay at hostels on their way to the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela.


Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has written to Thiem's parents in Arizona, saying he "understands the pain of a family that does not know where their daughter is."

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available