23 Mar, 2011 @ 12:17
1 min read

Family demand probe into US student drowning in Spain

THE father of an American exchange student found dead in Madrid’s Manzanares river last week, has complained about the lack of information from Spanish police.

Larry Bice’s son, Austin, 22, was found 11 days after being refused entry to a Madrid nightclub.

Bice said he had not ruled out foul play, despite a preliminary post-mortem indicating that the body showed no signs of violence and suggested the cause of death was drowning.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. Only when the freedom of information laws are reformed in Spain will the situation improve. Thank goodness the EU continues to drag some of the old Spanish institutions into the 21st Century. Any shortcomings of the Police will remain a secret as they stonewall any attempt by others to achieve any sense of accountabilty. Indeed if it was’nt for the persistence of the Olive Press many cases would just be filed away and conveniently forgotten

  2. As an expat living in Madrid for more than 5 years I must comment that the tragic series of events that led to the loss of this young man’s life appear to have been given a life of there own by sensationalist reporting that has appeared in the San Diego Examiner at the hands of Joel Siegfried. On what is overwhelmingly circumstantial and anecdotal chatter (see link to article) Mr. Siegfried’s attempts at a specious pulp novel do an injustice to a well respected police force and the ideals of objective journalism the world over. The fact that Mr. Bice was refused entrance to a disco in Madrid in the middle of the night, for anyone with an REAL experience in the matter, frankly indicates he had had more than just a bit to drink. To be refused entrance on account of intoxication requires one to be unable to stand or speak of their own accord.

    Mr. Siegfried why don’t you attempt your dime novelist flights of fancy in your spare time and get back to being a REAL journalist. A lot to ask nowadays, I know.


  3. it´s true, to not get into a club in madrid because you´re drunk is quite a feat… in fact, i have never seen it happen in all my time here, clubs open after 1am and most people go there after 2-3 hours of drinking… some of them pretty hammered (including yours truly)… but never get turned away… now that i think of it, the only time i didnt get into a club in madrid was because i had sneakers on instead of the required dress shoes…

  4. Any parent would want to know what happened to their child; that is understandable and most police forces’ would handle that. My own view is that of parents frantically trying to find some rhyme or reason for the death of their child when there is none. Except for a tragic accident.

  5. Spain is a country of hidden truths and questioning authority is not permited due to the Franco dictatorship residue. Something is very fishy about what hsppened and given thechigh amount of Americsn jealousy/intolerance it sounds like a total setup that went bad.
    Spain is backwards and not wth the rest of the world….

  6. @ David: “only when freedom of information laws are reformed in Spain”?? What laws? What are you talking about? There are no “freedom of information laws” in Spain. There is only the absolute freedom to inform freely. Again, what are you talking about?

  7. @David: “Only when the freedom of information laws are reformed in Spain will the situation improve. Thank goodness the EU continues to drag some of the old Spanish institutions into the 21st Century.”

    What “freedom of information laws”? What on Earth are you on about? There are no laws in Spain controlling any “freedom of information”. There is only the freedom to communicate and print. You have not a clue of what you are talking about.

  8. @David: “Spain is a country of hidden truths and questioning authority is not permited”. Again, you have not a clue. Spain is a country much more tolerant than the USA where being intoxicated in public is enough to land you in jail.

    Per capita the USA has way more prisoners, people killed by police, etc. than Spain. Police in the USA are much more violent than in Spain. And the population of Spain is way more tolerant and open minded. I have no idea why you insist on maing ignorant, derogatory comments about Spain but we can compare figures any time you like.

  9. I lost my brother in law only a few months back in the same way..strange that he also drowned but was seen only minutes before enjoying a pizza on his own..Then to be found drowned with no personal belongings accept for 10 euro in his wallet when there was at least 100 euro..

    So yes people do drown but they dont normally lose all of there personal belongings and have money missing from wallets!!!

    Disgrace another cover up by the spainsh police not to distrub tourism!!! Total disgrace.

    Deepest sympathy to Austin’s family.

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