Suspect But No Body 

GUARDIA CIVIL investigators doubt they will find the body of Jesus Mari Baranda, missing from Castro Urdiales (Cantabria) since February. 

They believe it is in the Meruelo landfill site, the biggest in Cantabria, buried in binbags thrown away by a cleaner who occasionally worked for Carmen Merino, a 61-year-old originally from Cadiz. 

Merino rang her early last February asking her to do some cleaning and dispose of rubbish for her.  This she did, later telling the Guardia Civil that she did not recall seeing Jesus Mari Barandathe owner of the house, that day. 

Baranda 67, a retired bank employee who was divorced and had lost contact with his two children, had lived with Carmen Merina for seven years. 

According to Merino, her partner had gone away for a while but last March, his cousin reported him missing to the Guardia Civil. 

Knowing that a search of the house was imminent, Merino visited a friend last September, asking her to look after a cardboard box. 

This contained sex toys which she did not want the Guardia Civil to find, she explained. 

The unidentified friend opened the box some days later after it began to emit a dreadful smell and found it contained a partly-burnt severed head, which was soon identified as Jesus Mari Baranda’s. 

According to sources close to the case Merino, who is now remanded in custody, told investigators that she found the box on her doormat one morning. 

“I kept it because it was the only thing I had of his,” she said. 

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