AN AUTOPSY carried out on the body of Alvaro Prieto, the 18-year-old footballer who went missing in Seville last week, has confirmed that the youngster died from electrocution while walking along the roof of a train in the city’s Santa Justa station.
Sources from the investigation not only confirmed the cause of death on Tuesday but also revealed details of a security camera recording from a nearby petrol station that helped to resolve the mystery of exactly how and why he came to such a tragic end.
Prieto had been on a night out with friends in Seville on October 11, and in the morning of the next day was trying to return to his native Cordoba via train.
At the Santa Justa station, however, he was denied access to his 7.35am train after his mobile phone – on which his ticket and train pass were stored – ran out of batteries.
He managed to make his way onto another train bound for Cordoba but was detected by security guards and invited to leave. At 9.30am, he left the train station on foot and was stopped once more by station staff after he made it onto the train tracks, again in a bid to get home.
At 10.30am he was spotted by a witness on Kansas City avenue, which runs parallel to the station, but after that all trace of him was lost.
It was on Monday that a team of television reporters from state broadcaster TVE spotted by chance a pair of legs poking out from between two carriages, on a train that was being moved within the station.
Alerted by TVE, investigators inspected the body and confirmed on Monday that it belonged to Prieto, bringing to an end a search that had begun last Thursday.
Sources from the investigation have confirmed to Spanish media outlets that Prieto was electrocuted by a 3,500-volt shock. His extremities showed signs of electrocution and he also had compatible injuries on his scalp.
TVE was widely condemned on Monday for its decision to broadcast the images that it had captured of Prieto’s body, before his family could be informed and before the youngster was even identified.
What’s more, the chance discovery by a television crew of the missing teenager, who played football for Cordoba FC’s youth team and was also an engineering student, raised serious questions as to why the police had not yet located him nor why staff from train operator Renfe had failed to spot him before moving the out-of-service train where he had fallen.
It has since emerged that dog handlers were searching an area some 200 metres from where Prieto’s body was located the night before, and they later claimed that they had been due to cover the area where he was laying on Monday.
Sources from the investigation as well as the central government’s delegate in Seville, Pedro Fernandez, stated that the area in which he was eventually found could only be accessed from above, and not from the ground level, meaning that it was an unexpected location for him to have ended up in.
Fernandez also confirmed statements given by some of the staff at the train station about Prieto’s actions that night, who explained that they had offered him a charger for his mobile phone so that he could recover his ticket for the train.
For reasons that are yet to be clarified, he refused that help and instead apparently tried to sneak onto a carriage by any means possible.
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