15 Feb, 2024 @ 09:25
2 mins read

Suspect in triple murder of siblings in Spain’s Madrid kills his cellmate while in pre-trial custody

The three victims of the suspected murders. Photo: Supplied

THE self-confessed killer of three elderly siblings in a village in the Madrid region has taken another life. 

Police and prison sources have confirmed to Spanish media that Dilawar Hussain Choudhary killed his cellmate in the early hours of this morning while being held in pre-trial custody. 

Choudary handed himself into the police in January after the decomposed bodies of Amelia, Angeles and Pepe Gutierrez Ayuso, aged between 71 and 79, were found in their home in Morata de Tajuña.

In a case that shocked Spain, the three elderly siblings were reported to have suffered violent deaths. Their bodies were piled up in their home and had been partially burned. 

Choudhary, a 42-year-old Pakistani national, had been renting a room in the home of the siblings, and was the police’s main suspect. 

He confessed to police that he had killed them in ‘revenge’ for money that he had lent to the sisters, who were reportedly the victims of an online romance scam, and that they had not returned. 

The three victims of the suspected murders in Morata de Tajuña. Photo: Supplied

After his confession, he was placed in custody and taken to the Estremera prison in the southeast of the Madrid region on January 24. 

The same police and prison sources told Spanish daily El Pais that he was taken to a solitary-confinement cell after the alleged killing of his cellmate this morning. 

He had been placed in the prison’s Module 2, which is where some of the most conflictive inmates are held. 

Choudhary had already spent time in the same prison, after he was arrested for beating one of the sisters with a hammer due to their dispute about money.

The alarm was raised about the siblings disappearance by neighbours, who reported to the authorities that they had not been seen around the village for some time. 

After the bodies of the three were discovered, neighbours told reporters that the sisters had apparently fallen for a so-called ‘romance scam’ on social media, and had been duped into thinking they were speaking to an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan.

The brother, Pepe, who was 79, was a person with disabilities and was not aware of what was happening, according to Spanish daily El Pais. 

According to neighbours’ accounts, the sisters began sending money to the scammers on the promise that they would be able to unlock a multi-million inheritance. 

Once Angeles and Amelia burned through their own savings, they reportedly began to ask friends and neighbours for loans. When they were advised by neighbours they were likely being duped by fraudsters, the sister would cut those people out of their lives. 

Choudhary was the main suspect in the case given that he had a previous record of violence toward the family. 

In January 2023, he assaulted the older sister, Angeles, and then did so again in February, when he hit her with a hammer over an apparent debt. He was arrested and imprisoned until September of last year for those offences.

He handed himself in to police on January 22 in the Madrid municipality of Arganda del Rey, where he ran a telephone calling shop, and confessed to the crimes. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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