Alleged killer of Mari Luz says he drops her body into sewer

9th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Del Valle says he was scared after the girl fell down the stairs and hit her head.

9 May 2008

HUELVA - Santiago del Valle, a convicted paedophile arrested in March for the murder of five-year-old Mari Luz Cortés, has told a judge that he disposed of the infant girl's body in a sewer around 300 metres from his apartment in Huelva.

Mari Luz's body was found in an estuary outside the city 54 days after her disappearance on 13 January.

In his court testimony from 27 March, which was made public this week, Del Valle admitted to enticing Mari Luz into the entrance hall to his apartment block with a toy after seeing her alone on the street. He claims she fell as she climbed the stairs and hit her head.

"I didn't touch her," Del Valle, who was previously convicted for abusing his own daughter and another young girl, told the judge. He said he "became scared," stuffed Mari Luz into a shopping handcart and walked around 300 metres to a sewer cap. He dropped her inside.

"I didn't know if she was alive or dead," he said.

The autopsy revealed that Mari Luz died from asphyxia.

Del Valle's testimony differs substantially from that of his sister, who is also a suspect in the girl's murder. Rosa del Valle said that on the day of Mari Luz's disappearance, she had driven her brother to a shopping mall near marshland on the outskirts of the city. She said he took the handcart with him - something she thought odd given that 13 January was a Sunday.

[El Pais / M. J. Albert / ANP / Expatica]

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