Last week, a user named Pedro with a Pokemon avatar posted a comment on the Booking website. He described the Hotel Bentley in Brussels as exceptional and gave it a ten rating. The Pedro was the 16-year-old son of Gloria Zavala, whose body was found the day before he made his post.
The hotel is in the Schaerbeek district, some three kilometres from the centre of Brussels. A two-star establishment, it is like something out of the 1960s. Unlike Pedro, other guests have not been impressed. On Trip Advisor, one wrote that there were no luxuries. Facilities were decrepit. The cleaning service was notable by its absence. Another user on Booking described the bathrooms as being from the postwar period.
Gloria Zavala's son and his 17-year-old girlfriend booked into the Bentley on Wednesday night last week at around 11pm. Gloria's body had been discovered at half past midnight on the Wednesday morning. They had left Majorca on the Tuesday and flown to Barcelona and then took a flight to Brussels. The pair aroused no suspicion. They stayed in room 53, payment (50 euros a night) made by a credit card in the boy's name. Staff say that they spent some of the time in the room but went out often - to see the sights, it would seem. They made no attempt to hide themselves and seemed like a happy young couple on holiday.
At six o'clock on Tuesday this week, there was a knock on the door of room 53. It was Belgian police from the FAST unit, which specialises in locating fugitives. The National Police in Palma were apparently aware that they were in Brussels pretty much as soon as they had arrived. Over the following days, the police pieced together evidence. On Monday, information was forwarded from Madrid to the Belgian police.
Proving their whereabouts was straightforward. The post on Booking could well have been made from an internet cafe, as the pair had deactivated their phones. This was the only measure they took to prevent being found. Payments by credit card, use of their real names; these were just two factors which didn't make it difficult to locate them.
They appeared before a court in Brussels yesterday and accepted their extradition. This is to be processed immediately, and they will be returned to Majorca shortly and go before a court for minors. Police are meanwhile investigating whether they were assisted by others in fleeing Majorca and Spain.