VALENCIA, Spain – The sister of a Spanish woman who was slain in Mexico this summer said Friday that authorities there had presented no hard evidence linking her husband to the murder.
In a press conference in the small eastern Spanish town of Massalaves – the home town of the slain woman, Pilar Garrido – Raquel Garrido said she and her family wanted the crime cleared up more than anyone but that the evidence presented against her sister’s jailed husband, Jorge Fernandez, amounted to mere supposition.
“It’s surprising how they jail a person in Mexico. We’re not going to defend Jorge, but we want reliable proof so we can be at peace. If he’s guilty, then convict him, but they need to prove that,” Garrido said, recalling that her mother was in Mexico to follow the investigation closely.
“My mother is staying at Jorge’s house. If she were certain of his guilt, she wouldn’t be there,” she added.
Fighting back tears, she said her sister had planned to open a beauty parlor and that Fernandez had wanted to start a gym, but they were concerned about the high rate of violent crime where they lived – the northeastern state of Tamaulipas – and had been considering a move to Spain in the future.
Referring to the couple’s infant son, who had been riding in the family car when the incident occurred, Garrido said the two families had agreed it would be best to take him to Spain for his own well-being.
She also denied statements by “supposed friends or acquaintances of Pilar’s” to the effect she was shy and had been psychologically abused by her husband, saying that her sister had been an extroverted person with “a lot of personality.”
Garrido also said it was untrue that Pilar had wanted to leave her husband.
“She did have a flight to Spain on July 24, but it was round-trip, to spend some vacation days,” Garrido said.
Asked about her brother-in-law, who has repeatedly denied murdering his wife, Garrido said her mother had spoken with him and that he was “in really bad shape.”
“We’re considering all the possibilities in my sister’s case, but what they’ve done with him isn’t right,” she added.
Fernandez was arrested Tuesday after Tamaulipas state Attorney General Irving Barrios found sufficient evidence linking him to the homicide.
On Wednesday, a Mexican judge ordered Fernandez held for two years in preventive detention.
The skeletal remains of the 36-year-old Pilar Garrido were found in late July in Villa de Casas, Tamaulipas, where the woman was last seen alive.
Fernandez had reported on July 3 that she had been abducted the previous day as the couple and their 1-year-old son were returning to their home in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital, after a vacation in the Gulf coast resort town of La Pesca.
He told authorities that two armed men had intercepted the family on the road and snatched Garrido at gunpoint.