Blogs and advice from Industry leading Specialists
Valuable Opinions, Comments & Gossip
Financial related News & Articles relating to Spain
Latest News, Stories
& Hot Topics
Various Tools & Widgets to help with your financial needs
Tools & Widgets to
help with finances
Polls, Surveys and Opinions featured throughout Tumbit
Featured Polls, Surveys & Stats
Discussions, Advice & Topical Chat
Discussions, Advice & Topical Chat

Spain deploys 300 Police to find missing US tourist

Source: El Pais - Fri 11th Sep 2015
Spain deploys 300 Police to find missing US tourist

The Spanish government has deployed 300 members of the army and National Police close to the area where a US tourist disappeared in April while walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

The small village of Castrillo de los Polvazares, in the northern province of León, is being searched by land and air using off-road vehicles, horses, trucks, trained dogs and a helicopter.

Denise Pikka Thiem, 41, went missing on April 5 in the nearby town of Astorga as she was preparing to complete another leg of her solo journey to Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle Saint James are said to be buried.

The initial investigation yielded no arrests, and the case seemed at a dead end. Police chiefs have failed to provide any clues that might explain why the search has suddenly and conspicuously been reactivated.

This summer, PM Mariano Rajoy received a letter from US Republican Senator John McCain offering the FBI's assistance to solve the case of the missing Arizona woman. The Spanish Interior Ministry admitted that the investigation is considered "a priority."

Spanish National Police head Ignacio Cosidó has also said that Thiem's disappearance is "a priority matter" for law enforcement agencies and that a "very thorough" search is being carried out.

On Thursday, the extent of the renewed investigation effort was plain to see.

Three members of the National Police's Mounted Unit combed the route along the road to Fontanillas, which runs parallel to the provincial 6304 highway, in Castrillo de los Polvazares. Three military vehicles, including two emergency trucks, were stationed nearby.

Denise Pikka Thiem was doing the Camino de Santiago route by herself.

Down the hill, every crossroads in this area covered in holm oak and brush was being watched by police officers in armored vehicles.

Meanwhile, underground experts have been looking inside each of the 100 or so wells that dot the landscape for signs of Thiem. The US tourist had been planning to reach the municipality of El Ganso, 14 kilometers from Astorga, and spend the night at a hostel there, according to messages she posted on social networking sites.

Exactly at the halfway point, seven kilometers from the church of Santa Marta, where she was last seen, trained dogs could be seen sniffing the ground on Thursday.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the search area has been reduced thanks to witness reports. There is a prime suspect in the case, but police would offer no further information.

But in Castrillo de los Polvazares, people have a theory that the police are searching for an outsider, a man of around 40, who moved to the village a couple of seasons ago and built himself a house on an adjacent estate. This individual was already questioned early in the case.

"He used to go down the Camino de Santiago to Astorga on his bicycle and harassed some of the female pilgrims," said a retired farmer, sitting on a bench with three friends under the shade of a tree.

"He sniffed them out," added a bench companion. "He hasn't been seen around here for eight days or so."

All three men made it abundantly clear that the suspect is not a friendly man and that he has had a few confrontations with local residents in the past.

The mayor of Astorga, Arsenio García Fuentes, said that he has no more information than what he has read in the press, and insists that the Camino – a route undertaken by thousands of people every year – is perfectly safe.

As night fell on the hillside on Thursday, a truck could be seen delivering portable toilets to the law enforcement officers stationed below, suggesting that the search is expected to take quite some time.

Comment on this Story

 
Be the first to comment on this Story !!

Related Partners

Recommended Items

Related Articles

Related Blogs

 
When shopping for bodyjewelrytips, never buy anything that has nickel. The best type of material is the steel, titanium, wood, anodized gold or gold. Most nickel products will rust and may infect your ear. If you have pierced the naval or eye, you do not need to worry, as that is the most versatile part of the body. You can wear rings, straight, curved or fancy and captive beads. There are many leading body piercing jewelry that offer some of the biggest collection at very affordable price. In regard to shopping, always go to a wholesale shape as that is the sure place of getting any type of body piercing jewelry. The only thing that you need to be careful about is the material used to make the jewelry. There are instances when body piercing might go wrong and the result is an infection. In order to avoid this, make sure that the person doing the piercing is qualified to do so. After piercing is done Bodys piercing trends, you should keep the area sterilized and clean. Use warm water to wipe dirt. Never use spirits as they will corrode the area resulting to a wound which might cause an infection.