An Irish tourist suspected of murder has been arrested after his partner was found strangled to death at a hotel in a Spanish resort.
Police confirmed they detained the 30-year-old on Sunday evening after rushing into a hotel in the Costa Dorada resort of Salou and finding her lying lifeless in a hallway.
Her suspected killer, discovered next to her with a ‘self-inflicted’ wrist wound, was taken to hospital where he remained under police guard today.
Sources familiar with the investigation have confirmed that the arrested tourist is Irish like the 36-year-old woman he is believed to have strangled to death.
The same sources also said the couple, who are believed to be from Dublin although this has not been confirmed by officials, were considered partners and shared the same hotel room.
He allegedly used a rope to strangle her.
A hotel employee found the victim in one of the hallways trying to escape his suspected killer, according to a local report.
Staff at the four-star Magnolia Hotel in Salou, where the horrific incident took place, said they were unable to comment.
The alert was given around 9:30 p.m. last night.
A spokesman for the Mossos d’Esquadra Regional Police said: “Agents from the Mossos d’Esquadra Criminal Investigation Decision in Tarragona have arrested a man believed to be linked to the violent death of a woman in Salou last night.
“The events took place around half past nine when the Mossos received a warning from a hotel in Salou that a woman had been seriously injured.
“When they arrived at the scene, officers found a woman lying on the ground and a man next to her with a self-inflicted wound.
“Although emergency medical responders attempted to revive the woman, they were ultimately only able to certify her death.
“Officers have arrested the man as the suspected perpetrator of the death.”
The suspect is under police surveillance at the Joan XXIII Hospital in the city of Tarragona, capital of the province of the same name.
He allegedly caused his wrist injury by punching or hitting glass. Well-placed sources said his injuries were not life-threatening.
Police have yet to officially say whether they are treating the incident as a “domestic violence-related murder.”
However, a spokesperson for the Department of Equality and Feminisms of the Catalan regional government called the Generalitat has already condemned the crime and calls it femicide.
The department said in a tweet: “We are keeping an eye on femicide in Salou.
“We are working with the town hall and making our services available to the family and close friends of the victim who need maximum privacy in these difficult times.”
Tania Verge, head of equality and feminisms at the Generalitat, added: “Devastated by a new femicide. Our full support to the victim’s family.
“Machismo doesn’t have a vacation. On the contrary, when couples spend more time together, the risk of experiencing violence increases.
Court officials later confirmed that a specialist court on violence against women would be in charge of the criminal investigation.
They also said a confidentiality order has been placed on the case, which does not preclude reporting of the incident and the ongoing investigation, but limits the amount of information that officials, including the police, can give to the media.
This is a common procedure in the early stages of a case and is intended to legally protect the ongoing criminal investigation.
A local judicial official said: “The Tarragona Service Court last night ordered the removal of the body of a woman who suffered a violent death in a hotel in Salou.
“The case, which is placed under judicial secrecy, will be heard by a court specializing in violence against women.
“The victim and the alleged aggressor do not reside in Spain and therefore it is not possible at this time to say whether there have been previous episodes of violence involving the couple.”
The town hall of Salou will observe a minute of silence in honor of the Irishwoman killed last night at the four-star Magnolia hotel.
He has already set up a banner with a black ribbon on his HQ.
The town hall said in a tweet: “The town hall of Salou condemns the incident of gender violence last night.
“We urge society to participate in an act of rebuke tonight at 7 p.m. outside City Hall.”
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