25 Jan, 2023 @ 12:00
2 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Mystery Cuban man arrested in case of decapitated woman washed up in Marbella


By Anthony Piovesan and Walter Finch

A Mystery Cuban called Michael has been arrested alongside a man who murdered and decapitated a Colombian expat and dumped her in the sea off Marbella.

The builder worked with Leonel Herrera, 45, who has admitted killing his ex-girlfriend Natalia Mosquera, 46, on January 8 before chopping off her head and hands.

The Olive Press can reveal that the pair worked together in hotel construction and maintenance in the Marbella area.

As well as working for an apartment group in Cabopino, they also undertook jobs at Costa Marbella Star Light. 

Natalia Mosquera, 46, was murdered on January 8.

A worker from the hotel said Michael had ‘not been working’ there since the start of the year.

“Michael did some construction work for us, but he hasn’t worked for a month or two,” she said. 

An employee at Marbella Casco Antiguo Princesa hostel confirmed that he previously worked in Cabopino. 

Another source, who knew the pair, said Michael had been arrested and was ‘still in police custody’.

She added that the Cuban had allegedly taken Leonel to ‘pick up Natalia’ and taken them to the beach where she had been killed. There is no suggestion he was involved.

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the Olive Press she believes her stomach was also cut open to remove a tattoo on her belly.

Murderer Leonel
Leonel Herrera, 45, admitted killing his ex-girlfriend.

She claimed Leonel, a father-of-two, was trying to prevent her being identified, but forgot that her sister lived nearby and had already reported her missing to police.

When the body floated up by the Restaurante Club 200 at Marbesa beach, she immediately confirmed it was her sister from a WhatsApp video.

Policia Nacional confirmed to the Olive Press the friend, ‘of Cuban descent’, was arrested after admitting he had picked up Natalia in a van.

“She was still alive inside the van so we believe he is the last person, other than Natalia’s ex-boyfriend, who saw her alive,” a spokesperson said. 

Natalia’s severed hands were found on the beach near Cabopino last Tuesday. Her head is still missing.

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Police are still searching a stretch of beach in Marbella following the murder of Natalia.

Herrera confessed to the gruesome murder when National Police officers took him to the beach and he graphically recounted how he disposed of her body.

The Civil Guard’s Grupo Especial de Actividades Subacuáticas (GEAS) has been searching for the severed head along several miles of the Marbella coastline for the past several days.

According to sources close to the investigation, the search is ongoing but has been hampered by the difficult conditions caused by the stormy weather, 

Submariners are focusing their efforts closer to the shoreline, however so far without success.

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Michael worked for an apartment group in Cabopino.

The Marbella City Council will assume the cost of Natalia’s funeral and the family’s wish is that Natalia be laid to rest in Marbella, the city where she resided.

The investigation is being led by a judge specialising in Violence Against Women in Marbella.


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