Spanish police who arrested a German man suspected of murdering his girlfriend found a tattoo on his arm bearing her name, date of birth and another date that may indicate her date of death.
The man, who has not been named, is alleged to have killed his girlfriend, hid her body in rubbish bags at their home in Bavaria and fled with their child to Spain.
He was detained on Sunday at a serviced apartment complex in Lloret de Mar, Catalonia. The couple’s 18-month-old son was recovered by officers and is said to be in good health.
German police issued a European arrest warrant after the body of the man’s 20-year-old partner was found at the flat they shared in the town of Freyung. She had suffered deep cuts to her throat and her body was stuffed into rubbish bags.
Although police do not know exactly when she was killed, a tattoo on the suspect’s shoulder bears her name, Lisa, her date of birth, and another date – 27/10/2016 – with a cross next to it and “thanks for everything” written in Spanish.
Spanish police, who believe the man had been planning to travel to North Africa, said he had taken his partner’s phone with him after leaving Germany to post on her social media accounts and throw officers off his trail.
“After being alerted by German police, who suspected he may have fled [to Spain], the national police followed the trail through different cities, from Tarifa to Valladolid, until officers managed to arrest him at the hotel where he was staying,” investigators said in a statement.
“The officers’ primary objective throughout the investigation has been to find the 18-month-old child in good health.” He is being looked after in Catalonia while German social services travel to Spain to pick him up.
The man, who is awaiting extradition to Germany, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.