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Diana Pinel and her daughter Diana Quer who appears much younger than when she died.
Photo montage uploaded by Pinel on Instagram
by Rose Maramba
dianapinel Así es como te siento, tan cerca Diana. . . Somo siempre hemos estado y seguiremos estando, no puedo expresar con palabras el dolor que siento dentro de mi, pero me consuela saber que nuestros corazones seguirán latiendo juntos en el mío. Has sido la mayor hija que podía tener y ojalá sientas lo orgullosa que me siento de todo el bien que has hecho a todos los que has tenido alrededor. Tu bondad no tenía limites y seguirá haciendo el bien desde donde estés para que nadie sufra lo que lamentablemente te ha tocada a ti, hay un antes y un después de tu existencia, viniste a cumplir una misión como ángel que eras, seguro que Dios te arropará entre sus brazos como hacía yo en la tierra. Te amo más de lo que jamás pensé que se podría y eso me lo enseñaste tu.
This is how close to you I feel, Diana. . . Because we have been and will always be close to each other, I can’t express with words the pain I feel inside, but I take comfort in knowing that our hearts will go on beating together in mine. You have been the best daughter I could have and I hope you could feel how proud of you I am for all the good things you’ve done for the people around you. Your kindness knew no limits and you will go on doing good wherever you are so that nobody would suffer what you sadly had gone through. But remember what I always told you: God chose you to be one of his best warriors to fight the hardest battle. Many will live, thanks to you. There is a “before” and “after” in your life; you came to accomplish a mission like the angel that you were. God will surely fold his arms around you and protect you the way I used to do here on earth. I love you more than I ever thought possible and that’s because you taught me how. (Unofficial translation.)
Diana Quer died at dawn of 22 August 2016 in the town of Puebla del Caramiñal, A Coruña, northern Spain. The police as well as the civic volunteers searched high and low for 497. Unsuccessfully.
The presumable abduction of Diana Quer was widely and intensely covered by the media especially during the early months. Then the coverage waned.
Media and public interest were revived 16 months later following José Enrique Abuín confession to the crime. In the morning of 31 December 2017, he led the Guardia Civil to the place where he hid the girl’s body: a well in a warehouse in Rianjo, some 20 kilometers from where the searchers had lost all traces of Diana on 22 August. Diana’s body was held down by bricks at the bottom of the watery well that was covered with a metal sheet. The warehouse is located just 200 meters from the family home of Albuin’s.
The investigation of the case remains open, pending court decision on the guilt of the self-confessed suspect at Court Nº 1 of Riveira, A Coruña.
Diana María Quer López-Pinel (Madrid, 12 April 1998 — A Coruña province, 22 August 2016), was 18 years and four months old when the tragedy struck. She resided with her divorced mother and younger sister Valeria in the affluent municipality of Pozuelo de Alarcon in Madrid. The three used to spend summer in Puebla del Caramiñal. The night before her death, Diana attended the much-awaited town fiesta. At around 02:43 AM on 22 August, after exchanging several messages on WhatsApp with her mother and some friends, she disappeared without a trace.
The Guardia Civil (military police) took up the case. After 2 months of futile search in and out of the municipality of Ría de Arosa, the search only yielded the phone signal emitted on that tragic night by Diana Quer’s iPhone which was found by a fisherman who was out gathering shellfish in Taragoña, Rianjo on 28 October 2016. That was all.
In view of the lack of any other results, the Riveira court called off the search until new developments emerged. By then the Guardia Civil had interrogated some 200 suspicious individuals, mainly those convicted of previous crimes of sexual aggression or drug trafficking. But even when the number was narrowed down to the 80 more plausible suspects, it was still all so inconclusive and no arrests could be made.
Then fortuitously at dawn on Christmas Day 2017, an 18-year old girl — was it just a coincidence that she was the same age as Diana Quer? — told the police in Boiro, Ria de Arosa, that a man who was armed with a knife tried to sexually assault and abduct her. But the girl screamed and struggled which alerted the people in the neighborhood who then rushed to the scene, causing the assailant to flee in his car.
The description given by the girl of her assailant fitted in with that of a 41-year old man named José Enrique Abuín Gey, nicknamed el Chicle, a resident of Taragoña. Coincidentally, he was one of the suspects in the Diana Quer case; earlier, he had been interrogated by the Guardia Civil in regard to the disappearance of Diana.
Abuín has a criminal record, having been convicted and jailed for drug trafficking in 2007. Moreover, the twin sister of his wife had accused him of sexual aggression though she later dropped the allegation.
Against this new development, the Guardia Civil went on and interrogated Abuín’s wife, Rosario Rodríguez. This wasn’t the first time either; the Guardia Civil had previously interrogated her on the Diana Quer case. On that initial phase, Rodriguez swore that Abuín was at home with her on the night of 22 August 2016. He therefore couldn’t have possibly perpetrated any crime against Diana Quer.
However, the suspicion of the Guardia Civil against Albuin had crystallized into firm conviction which then proved too much for Rodriguez who ended up admitting that on that fateful night her husband wasn’t with her. It was only a matter of (short) time before Allbuin himself broke down, being now stripped of an alibi that would exculpate him. On 30 December Albuín owned up to killing Diana Quer by strangulation.
El Chicle, cocky and swaggering, led the authorities to the watery well where he had hidden Diana’s body.
In December 2019, after four days of deliberation, the jury at Santiago de Compostela unanimously found El Chicle guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment due to aggravating factors of premeditation, sexual motive and attempt to hide a previous crime. On top of the life sentence, he was to remain in prison for four and a half years for the kidnapping and sexual assault of Quer; he was ordered to pay a fine of €130,000 to each of Quer’s parents and €40,000 to her sister. He was to shoulder the legal costs. However, while the jury found him guilty of sexual assault he was cleared of attempted rape.
Albuin appealed but the Supreme Court upheld the sentence.
On 28 November 2018, a memorial statue of Diana was unvelied at the plaza named for her in the Parque de San Juan de la Cruz, Pozuelo de Alarcon. Pozuelo Mayor Susana Perez Quislant, members of the town government, Diana’s parents and sister, representatives of the security forces, and family friends and neighbors attended the emotive ceremony.
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