By Humphrey Carter

THE prime suspect in the brutal murder of 45-year-old Juana Maria Rebassa at the apartment the couple shared in Camp Redo, Palma, on Thursday, was finally located and arrested on Friday night in the village of Sant Llorenç where he owns a plot of land.

On being arrested, Jose Juan Puchal Perez categorically denied that he murdered his partner but the National Police murder squad apparently have evidence to the contrary.

According to the post mortem, the victim was killed at midday on Thursday but the body was not found until 9pm that night and the prime suspect had all afternoon to pack a suitcase and caught a bus to Pont' d'Inca where he was apparently spotted by a Guardia Civil patrol but the huge man hunt for the killer had not been launched and he was able to continue his journey to Porto Cristo where he was again noticed by the police with his suitcase - but the alarm had still not been raised and the suspect's description distributed to the various police forces.

From Porto Cristo he is understood to have made his way to the plot of land on which he has a small country house in Sant Llorenç.
However, just after 9pm, an off duty member of the Local Police came across the suspect walking along the side of a country lane and by now, the search had been mounted and he recognised Perez.

Apparently, as the officer proceeded to arrest the suspect, Perez, without any prompting, denied that he was the killer claiming he was not capable of hurting any one. He was held in the Sant Llorenç Local Police station until members of the National Police murder squad arrived and transferred the suspect toNational Police station in Palma where he was being held in custody yesterday. Perez will appear before a remand hearing tomorrow.


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