The Guardia Civil carried out a two-day search at a farm in Calvia for Malen on March 6. ‘Operation Vans’, so named because it was Malen’s favourite brand, also trawled through CCTV from the road near where Malen disappeared to identify possible suspect vehicles.
The search team, which traveled over from Madrid, arrived with trained dogs and bulldozers after a tip off suggested that the area in Magaluf had been used as an illegal horse cemetery and that a clue to Malen’s disappearance may lie there. Moreover, the farm is located near to where a former prime suspect, who was interviewed at the time, stored his belongings and used to frequent.
Police retrieved shoes, shawls and animal bones, which were buried illegally, from the site.
The suspect was a 70-year-old Spaniard who had worked as a Hollywood artist representative who had been looking for girls with skateboards to model for a parade on Palma’s Rambla. He was known to frequent one of the estates very close to where Malen was last seen carrying a skateboard on December 2, 2013.
The ex-Los Angeles resident was questioned by police for two days in 2014 after he was reported for harassing minors at a bus stop near Magaluf. When the Guardia Civil discovered that the man had been looking for ‘girls with a skateboard’ they took a statement from him but he was never officially arrested.
The suspect denied any connection to Malen’s disappearance however he presented severe mental health problems, including hearing voices and having visions as well as suffering with a dual personality disorder.
Following the interrogation by police the man moved to Malaga after locals barred him from establishments and youths nicknamed him ‘the murderer’. His mental state is understood to have worsened and he ended up in a psychiatric centre. The man is alleged to have suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s in more recent years. He is no longer considered a prime suspect by the police.
Malen was last captured on CCTV from the Sa Parrassa nursery whilst on route to her boyfriend’s house. She disappeared in a blind spot of a 300-meter pedestrian and cycle path which links up to a road at the end. The path runs past a luxury property and an abandoned building but there were no sightings of her.
The analysis of 300 vehicles that passed along the Son Ferrer stretch during the ten minutes after Malen’s last sighting may be key to the investigation.
After years of searching and a report of over 1000 pages the Judicial Police have concluded that Malen may have gotten into a car of an acquaintance voluntarily. This conclusion was reached as a Local Calvia Police car was stopped nearby which rules out any struggle on the street which would have been heard by officers.
Police have been trying to gain access to Malen’s Facebook account as it may have crucial information regarding conversations the teenager may have had online. To date, Facebook has denied investigators access until there is a clear suspect.
According to reports, suspects have been narrowed down to 13 people, including a homeless German man who used to beg in the area that Malen was last seen and two family-friends who had committed sexual offences.
Investigations into the 13 men have been carried out to exhaustion however there are still many unanswered questions.
Malen’s living situation at time of disappearance
At the time of her disappearance, Malen was living with her father Alejandro Ortiz, who was granted custody of Malen and her sibling in 2012 following the alleged abandonment of the mother Natalia Rodriguez who had moved to work in Thailand.
Prior to the 15-year-old’s disappearance, Malen had vented on social media platform Ask.fm “My life is not rosy, I have a very difficult family situation”.
Since the revelations of her Ask.fm comment, the parents accused each other of abandonment and abuse. The mother filed two complaints of abuse against her ex-husband, Alejandro which were subsequently shelved.
In addition, information came to light that she had an appointment booked with a psychologist to discuss ‘something serious’ a day after she disappeared as was reported by Interviu on November 30, 2015.
Alejandro Ortiz offered a reward of 30,000 euros to anyone with information relating to his daughter’s disappearance and told Interviu “it’s clear she didn’t leave of her own free will” in 2014.
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