11 Apr, 2024 @ 13:30
2 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Tributes pour in for ‘beloved’ US tourist, 44, who died in a holiday apartment in Malaga – as ex-partner remains locked up in Spain

Locals said the neighbourhood has been left shocked by the death last weekend

TRIBUTES have poured in for an American tourist who was found dead inside a holiday apartment in Malaga at the weekend.

Bianca Pitman, 44, was found unresponsive on Saturday in one of the luxury suites inside The Clock House on Plaza Enrique Garcia Herrera.

Friends back home in San Antonio, Texas, told the Olive Press that she had moved to Xativa, Valencia, back in October to begin a new life as an English teacher.

Bianca had been art teacher for many years at the MacArthur High School in San Antonio, where she was ‘very beloved’.

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Tragic: Bianca Pitman, 44, was killed in Malaga at the weekend (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)
Jose Betancourt is being held in jail while the investigation continues (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

According to friends, she had not told her partner of more than 10 years, Jose Betancourt, that she was leaving the country – and it is not yet known how he knew where she was living or why she agreed to meet with him in Malaga.

Jose has been arrested and is facing charges of homicide and domestic violence, according to reports in Spanish press.

One of Bianca’s close friends Valeria Dullnig told this paper: “I don’t know why she was there she didn’t tell me she was going to Malaga.

“She was an art teacher in San Antonio and a photographer. She was my best friend, she was happy and smart and encouraging, everybody loved her, everyone who met her felt better for being part of her life.

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Bianca was found unresponsive in The Clock House (the white building in the centre, COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

“Her students loved her and kept in touch with her after they graduated, she was such a popular figure.

“She was very close with her children. Her daughter is best friends with my daughter. ‘She had a great relationship with them.

“It was the four of us, we were like a team. Everybody is shocked by this.”

Valerie said she was ‘surprised’ to read reports in the Spanish press that there may have been drugs found at the scene.

She added: “I don’t know Jose well enough to know about the drugs and I was surprised to read that. That was not part of our friendship, that’s not the friend that I know and I don’t ever think she would do drugs.

“Bianca’s daughter is flying in to San Antonio tonight. Her brother is here and her half brother. They have a lot to figure out.

Happier times: Close friends Bianca and Valerie pose for a selfie

“Promise has a good friend that has been fielding her phone calls and I’ve been in touch with them but I know that she’s just broken.

“It was promise’s friend grace who told me the news. Bianca is a very beloved art teacher. she actually started teaching about 10 years ago maybe 12 at the school in San Antonio.

“She had lots of dogs, cats and a pet goat. She was such an animal lover.

“Orange Theory gym is where she would like to work out a lot, she loved photography and hanging out with friends.

“I want people to know that she was full of life, she was a talented beautiful friend. I just want her to be remembered for who she was, everybody loved her.”

Locals in Malaga have been left shocked by the death of Bianca.

Mina, who works in the Santa Cafe next door to The Clock House, said the crime has stunned the neighbourhood.

She told the Olive Press: “It’s crazy, stuff like this does not really happen around here.

“We only saw a police car and an ambulance because it happened early in the morning and we didn’t open until 8am.

“I’m from Argentina where violence like this is more common but it happens rarely around here.

“If he killed her I really hope they lock him up and keep him behind bars.”

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