When little 8 year old Gabriel Cruz went missing on 27 February in Spains’s southern province of Almería the news channels picked up on the story quickly with the disappearance soon becoming a media obsession.
A smiling photograph of young Gabriel was shown all over the country along with the revelation that his nickname was ‘el pescadito’ or ‘little fish’. He was last seen by his grandmother and fathers girlfriend as he left on a short walk.
Hundreds joined an extensive search of the area and his father Angel Cruz and his girlfriend Ana Júlia Quezada appeared on TV in matching T-shirts begging for his return. Gabriel’s mother Patricia Ramirez, although going through obvious hell, managed to appeal calmly to any potential kidnappers just to leave him somewhere safe.
On a further search an item of Gabriel’s clothing was discovered by Ana Júlia but it was a long way from where he went missing. The case seemed to be going nowhere however the Police were secretly on to something.
They had noticed that Ana Julia, Gabriel’s father’s girlfriend had been acting strangely throughout the whole process giving differing stories and claiming that she had lost her mobile phone which could have been an essential piece of evidence.
They decided to put her under 24 hour surveillance where they watched her go to another family property several times. It was at this property 12 days after Gabriel’s disappearance that they witnessed her moving a large object into the boot of her car. After pulling her over and inspecting the vehicle the full tragedy of this sad story was exposed.
The discovery of little Gabriel’s body in the boot of the car ended the search but started a wave of revulsion that has captivated Spanish hearts and minds ever since. Spanish society is family driven so the murder of a child is the most heinous of acts especially by someone who should be caring for them.
Every generation has a defining news horror story involving a child and soon the Dominican Republic born Ana-Julia Quezada has become the wicked witch of nightmares especially as it’s also emerged that her young daughter died many years before after mysteriously falling from a window.
Quezada soon admitted to killing the young boy but heaped further derision on herself by claiming she acted in ‘self defence’ against a child described by everyone he met as ‘kind and gentle’.
As the Spanish nation joined together in mourning it was left to Gabriel’s Mother to show unbelievable humility insisting that the ‘wicked witch’ of the story was now gone so rather than writing negative hatred on social media against the perpetrator it was a time to remember Little Gabriel for all the good things about his short life.
At her most difficult time, something that no mother should ever have to go through, Patricia Ramirez has been a shining light of honesty, humility and integrity and she has captured the hearts of a nation in the process.