A MAN is accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death before chopping her up and storing her body parts in a freezer in his bedroom for more than a year, in a trial that opened in Madrid on Tuesday.

The 42-year-old man, who has been identified in court papers as Manuel M.A is on trial for the murder of his 22 year-old girlfriend, Daria, at the apartment they shared in Alcala de Henares in October 2017.

The grizzly crime went undiscovered until February 2019 when police went to his home and found her body chopped into seven pieces and stored within a freezer chest in the apartment. Five air fresheners and three incense burners were found on top of the freezer to disguise any smells.

The pair had met in the summer of 2014 and moved in together early in 2017 but she ended the relationship in September 2017 although continued to live in the same rented apartment with the accused until her murder on October 4.

Investigators believe the accused hid her disappearance by hacking into her phone and sending messages to those that knew her to give the impression that she was alive and well but had moved on in her life and no longer wished to stay in contact.

It is alleged that he sent whatsapp messages to her close friends, family and work colleagues cutting off contact and posted a message on her Facebook page stating: “I am making several changes in my life if you do not hear from me again, you are one of them”.  

She was finally reported missing to police in December 2018 by her family, with whom she reportedly had a difficult relationship marked by long periods of scant contact.

alcala de henares murder
Police release photos of the arrest of Manuel M.A in February 2019.

The trial opened on Tuesday at Madrid’s Provincial Court with the selection of the nine members of the jury and is expected to last several days.

The prosecutor has asked for 20 years in prison on charges of murder, desecration of a body and fraud.

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