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Police reexamine death of daughter of Gabriel murder suspect

In a case dating back 22 years, the four-year-old child of Ana Julia Quezada fell out of a window in unexplained circumstances

Ángel Cruz (L), father of the missing boy in Níjar, and his partner Ana Julia Quezada, during the second day of the search party.
Ángel Cruz (L), father of the missing boy in Níjar, and his partner Ana Julia Quezada, during the second day of the search party. EFE
Almería / Madrid

The main suspect in the death of Gabriel Cruz, an eight-year-old boy who went missing 12 days ago in southern Spain, is now also being investigated in connection with a child who died in unclear circumstances in 1996.

After the police arrested Ana Julia Quezada on Sunday, when the car she was driving was found to contain Gabriel’s body, investigators are now turning their attention to a case that was closed 22 years ago.

In March 1996, Quezada – then 21 years of age – was living in the northern Spanish city of Burgos after moving there from her native Dominican Republic. On March 13, her four-year-old daughter died after falling out of the window of the family home. The National Police investigated the case and concluded that it had been an accident.

Sources consulted by this newspaper insisted that “there was no evidence of criminal intent” at the time, but that the court that oversaw the case is being consulted in light of Quezada’s involvement in the Gabriel Cruz case.

Spain’s Interior Minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, confirmed at a press conference on Monday that the main suspect in the Gabriel Cruz case was involved in the 1996 incident. “There was a police report and a court dismissed the case. The report is there, and now we have to see what happened,” said Zoido.

Quezada was never considered a suspect in the death of her own four-year-old child

Quezada had another two-year-old daughter and was living with her husband – who had adopted both children – in the neighborhood of Gamonal. Their apartment was located on the seventh floor of a residential building on Camino Casa La Vega street.

Following the death, the adoptive father told the police that he had realized the child was not in her bed, and walked into the playroom to see if she was there. He saw the window ajar, looked out and saw the child lying on the floor of the inner courtyard.

The police are now seeking new information about Quezada’s time in Burgos, which is still the place of residence of her other daughter, who is now 24. The latter was reportedly admitted into hospital on Sunday after suffering a panic attack.

Police searching for Gabriel Cruz.
Police searching for Gabriel Cruz. Atlas

Quezada was never considered a suspect in the death of her four-year-old, and sources consulted by this newspaper said it is unclear whether she was even inside the apartment at the time. Neighbors of the family said that the child fell out the window, although one neighbor said that “it always seemed odd that she was able to do it alone.”

After living in Burgos, Quezada and her partner moved south in 2014, settling down in Las Negras, a small but popular locality within the Cabo de Gata-Níjar natural park in Almería province.

English version by Susana Urra.

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