A month on, Spanish teen’s mother appeals to public for help

quer-motherPolice say that “all hypotheses are open” in a case which has garnered massive attention

A month after Madrid teen Diana Quer went missing in Spain’s northwestern Galicia region, her mother has called on the public to come forward with information – “no matter how trivial it is”.

“Don’t be afraid to testify: your anonymity is guaranteed,” the mother of 18-year-old Quer, Diana López-Pinel, said during a press conference held outside her home in the upmarket Madrid suburb of Pozuelo.

Diana Quer’s father has publicly said he fears his daughter is no longer alive, while her mother maintains hopeful

“I am asking you as a mother. Your mom loves you. Mom is waiting for you and looking for you and will continue to look until you appear,” said López-Pinel, addressing the missing girl directly.

The latest appearance by Quer’s mother comes a month into a search that has received huge attention in the Spanish press and which has seen López-Pinel herself grilled by police after contradictions were found in her initial statements about her daughter’s disappearance.

Quer was originally thought to have disappeared on August 22 after heading out along a rural path leading back to the family’s holiday home in a residential estate located in the outskirts of A Pobra do Caramiñal, some 55 kilometers southwest of the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela.

But analysis of her cellphone’s positioning signals points to her having returned to the house sometime around 3am that night.

This possibility ties in with other clues found inside the home, where investigators located the clothes she wore to the village fiesta. This suggests that she may have walked in, changed, and left again for unknown reasons. Some witnesses have testified to seeing the teen back at the fiestas around 4am.

Another line of investigation explores the possibility that she got into a car. Her mobile phone died at 4am and there has been no trace of the teen since that time.

Don’t be afraid to testify: your anonymity is guaranteed
DIANA LÓPEZ-PINEL, MOTHER OF DIANA QUER

Investigators called in López-Pinel for questioning to determine why she didn’t hear her daughter return home an hour after receiving a call from her, or why she told police her daughter was wearing red shorts and a t-shirt when the clothes were on her bed, suggesting she changed clothes before leaving the house for the last time.

Police officers also grilled López-Pinel for several hours as to why she did not tell the police about her troubled relationship with her two daughters. Diana Quer’s father, who is separated from López-Pinel, told media earlier this month that a court had taken custody of the couple’s youngest daughter, Valeria, away from the mother.

López-Pinel also failed to tell police that she and Valeria had both visited a health center days before Diana’s disappearance, where they were both treated for anxiety.

Quer’s father has publicly said he fears his daughter is no longer alive, while López-Pinel is still holding out hope.

On Thursday acting Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz said all available resources were being used in the search for the teen. Around 200 law enforcement officers are currently involved in the ongoing operation.

Some 1,270 people are currently listed as missing in Spain. The Interior Ministry’s figures show that last year alone 24,995 missing persons reports were filed to the police (the figure so far for this year is 14,473). Of these, 24,088 have been found, reports the ministry, although very often people do not bother to withdraw a report when a loved one turns up.

Published ElPais 2 October 2016

Return to Daily News