The search for missing sixth-former Diana Quer has taken a grim twist after police revealed her mobile phone may have been thrown in a river 20 kilometres away from her family holiday home on the Galicia coast.
Diana, 18, was initially thought not to have made it back to the house in the seaside town of A Pobra do Caramiñal (A Coruña province), where she had spent every summer since she was three, with her last-known contact with the world being a WhatsApp message to a friend in her home region of Madrid at around 02.30 as she walked back from the local fiesta disco.
But her pink shorts were later found in her bedroom and her jeans were missing, as was her key to the holiday home, although she had left her money and national ID, or DNI card behind.
The student – who was born and bred, and still lived, in Spain’s wealthiest town of Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) – is known to have travelled by car after she would have arrived home, given the distance and movements registered on the GPS system of her mobile phone.
The phone itself is not in investigators’ possession, but they are able to trace all the information on it remotely.
This is only possible until the battery runs out, which happened at 04.15 that same morning.
Before then, the last-known location of the phone, according to police following its tracks, appears to be in the river Arousa – which runs into the sea – after being thrown or dropped off the motorway bridge between the towns of Cespón and Taragoña in the Rianxo district, some 20 kilometres from where Diana was staying.
The last search carried out was in Taragoña, on dry land, on September 9.
A regional newspaper raised hopes after reporting that Diana was showing up on WhatsApp as ‘online’, but these were dashed after police explained this was only because they had created a duplicate of her SIM card to be able to work out where Diana may have gone.
But the trail has now gone cold a month and four days after she disappeared.
The search for the young woman has led to the family’s turbulent relationships being laid bare and making national media headlines.
Her younger sister Valeria, 16, is now living with her father after a custody battle between the girls’ divorced parents ended up in court shortly before Diana went missing, and it has since transpired Diana was suffering depression and taking tranquillisers known as Orfidal, or Lorazepam, and had become a victim of anorexia at some time since her parents’ separation when she was 14.
Diana’s and Valeria’s father claims the sisters were very unhappy living with their mother and hinted at the latter’s possible psychological problems, whilst reports of bitter rows between the girls and their mother, of Diana threatening to leave and Valeria self-harming and suffering panic attacks, seem to contrast with WhatsApp messsages from the missing woman to her mother saying, “I want to live with you, mum, I love you.”
Diana’s mother had reported the student’s father to the police and then brought her daughter in to file an identical complaint about how her dad allegedly kept her locked in his house for five days.
The statement claims Diana’s father read information to her about ‘psychopaths’ and said her mother was one, and that she was not going back to her, whilst confiscating her mobile phone to stop her contacting her mother.
Effectively, Diana and Valeria are reported to have been caught in the crossfire of an acrimonious divorce and become emotionally affected by this, which means police have still not ruled out the possibility she may have run away from home.
But her parents both believe she would have made contact by now, even if it was to tell them she was not prepared to reveal her whereabouts.