By Humphrey Carter
AN international murder hunt was underway last night after the battered body of missing 35-year-old Maria Isabel Ferrer was found yesterday on an estate along the old Sineu road on the outskirts of Palma. Her body was covered in plastic sheeting and she had suffered severe head injuries. The mother of two had been missing for four days and the prime suspect, her Moroccan boyfriend and father of their 10-month old child, 28-year--old Hamir, is believed to have fled back to North Africa. The body was found by a team of police searcher just before 12.30.
National Police sources said that it would appear that she was hit about the head with “one of various rocks” which led to her death. The body was found wrapped in plastic sheeting on a property called Es Barranc and police believe she was killed at the scene, as opposed to having been dumped on the estate. Maria Isabel was reported missing last Friday after she failed to return home after work.
The following day her abandoned car was found near the Pedro Garau market and police established that Hamir had caught a flight to Madrid on Friday, possibly en route back home to Morocco. Friends of the victim have told police that Hamir used to “spy” on his girlfriend. On a number of occasions, Maria Isabel used to hide from the Moroccan in a local cafe in the San Cladera neighbourhood where they lived, afraid that he would beat her. The 34-year-old mother had told friends that the Moroccan used to assault her, but apparently, just a few weeks ago, Maria had claimed the beatings had stopped and their domestic problems resolved. The National Police confirmed last night that an international arrest warrant had been issued for Hamir and that flight lists and port departure records to Morocco over the past five days were being checked in case the prime suspect was still at large in Spain.

Trial will be held in Palma

MOROCCO does not extradite suspects, but should Hamir be arrested in his home country, he can be tried in absence in Spain and, if found guilty, sentenced to serve his time in Morocco.

Second victim this year

Of the four women who have died as victims of domestic violence in Spain this year, two have lost their lives in Majorca and last night the Balearic government announced that a minute's silence will be held in memory of Maria Isabel at mid-day today. Women's rights group Lobby de Dones will also be holding a protest at 8.30 tonight in Plaça Joan Carles I.

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