GUARDIA CIVIL’S ‘superstar’ dog Elton has been awarded a national distinction for his service in the force at an animal protection summit last month.
The now-retired police hound was recognised as the ‘star of Guardia Civil’ for his 12 years of service at the third National Congress of Animal Protection and Canine Units held in La Nucia between October 23-26.
“His work has been crucial for the police and forensic laboratories,” lifelong guide Juan Manuel Sánchez, who looks after Elton in Madrid, said after the award ceremony.
“There are still many closed doors in society. We have so much to do until we can treat dogs as we would treat people.”
He added Elton was capable of locating blood, semen and vaginal fluids up to seven years old.
Below are the most high-profile crimes Elton worked on.
Galician teenager Diana Quer, 18, went missing in August 2016 in a brutal case that saw her 41-year-old murderer throw her body into a well and tie her down with bricks.
The revelations came after known sexual predator José Enrique Abuín Gey confessed to the crime following a 497-day search – in which Elton served – for Quer’s whereabouts.
Elton was the dog responsible for locating traces of Quer’s blood in the abandoned warehouse and leading officers to the well.
Marta del Castillo
Marta del Castillo Casanueva was a Spanish high school student from Sevilla who disappeared in January 2009, presumed murdered.
A massive search party of 218 police officers using 22 boats, three jet skis, two helicopters, a sonar system lent by Dutch police and 13 scent hounds – including Elton – scoured the Guadalquivir river basin for her body.
Del Castillo was never found. Her ex-boyfriend Miguel Carcaño Delgado was sentenced to 20 years in jail for murder.
Elton’s most recent work was in the horrific murder of Gabriel Cruz, age 8, at the hands of his father’s then-partner, Ana Julia Quezada.
Gabriel disappeared somewhere on the way from his grandmother’s house to his cousins’ in Almería, only 100 metres apart, and then he was missing for the next 12 days.
The largest search party for a missing person in the history of Spain was set up, with over 5,000 people – made up of 3,000 volunteers and 2,000 professionals.
Though this time police agents found Gabriel’s body after cutting of Quezada’s car at an apartment block in La Puebla de Vicar, Elton again was present in one of Spain’s most famous crimes.
READ MORE: All you need to know about the trial of twisted child killer Ana Quezada who brutally murdered little Gabriel in Spain’s Almeria
READ MORE: THANKS ELTON: Tributes for Spanish police dog who retires after decade solving murders and disappearances