A BRITISH expat pensioner was most likely murdered by her farm hand after he learned she was selling her land.
That’s the working theory of police after finding Lesley Pearson, 74, dead and buried on her grounds in Sierra de Cadiz de Algar.
According to neighbours, the pensioner, who was ‘much-loved’ and who had lost her husband two years ago, was planning a move to the Costa del Sol.
Specifically, Pearson wanted to move permanently to a property she owned in Estepona, where she wanted to integrate more with the British community after her husband’s passing.
But Pearson, who lived in Casa Lele, a rustic estate in Tajo de Aguila, for decades, would be brutally murdered before she had the chance.
Neighbours first raised the alarm last Wednesday after Pearson had failed to return a rental car she had used to move some of her things to Estepona.
After a missing persons case was filed in La Linea de la Concepcion, Guardia Civil began investigating immediately.
During a search of her property on Sunday, agents found her body barely buried, with clear signs of violence.
“We shocked to the core,” neighbour Isabel told local press, “nothing like this ever happens here, we are upstanding people.”
She added: “We used to go to gym classes together and she gave massages, we are in shock.”
An autopsy was carried out at the Institute of Legal Medicine of Cadiz yesterday to confirm the exact cause of death.
Soon after the discovery, Guardia Civil agents arrested a man known only as F.J.B.P.
The 45-year-old, who was in charge of maintaining the Casa Lele estate, was thrown in a cell in Arcos de la Frontera, where he awaits a judge.
Sources claim he confessed to the crime, claiming an argument ‘got out of hand’.
A neighbour told Andaluciainformacion.es that the pair had a fight ‘for economic reasons’ after he learned Pearson was selling her land, although police have yet to confirm this.
Locals describe the alleged killer as ‘a normal person, from a good family’.
One said: “We have been surprised by what happened because he was a very quiet guy who worked on the farm.”
The mayor of Algar, Jose Carlos Sanchez, said the suspect ‘has no criminal record’ and that the town is ‘shocked by this sad and unexpected news.’
A minute of silence was held outside the town hall yesterday.
Guardia Civil raided the alleged killer’s home yesterday, located in the centre of Algar, before carrying out a reconstruction on Pearson’s property.
Sources have told press that evidence found supports the working theory that the farm worker is the killer.
He is expected in court today where he will likely be remanded in prison ahead of trial.