Spain: Police visited US couple's house prior to body find

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish police officers visited an American couple days before they found the badly decomposed body of their 7-year-old son at the family's rented apartment in the northeastern city of Girona, police said Thursday.

A police spokesman said officers were called to the apartment on New Year's Eve to check if the father was all right after the U.S. embassy contacted them, saying the man's colleagues were concerned after not hearing from him in some time.

The spokesman said the man did not open the door but insisted that he was fine and would get in contact with the U.S. embassy. The spokesman said the officers noticed nothing suspicious and left.

Police on Tuesday arrested the couple — a 39-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman — on suspicion of reckless homicide after they found the child's body on a bed under several blankets at the house.

The couple's names were not released. They lived at the apartment with the 7-year-old boy, a 12-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter.

Police did not know what part of the United States the family came from or how long they had been in Spain. They said the father was an engineer but had no details of what company he worked for.

Police had returned to the house after a call by the apartment's owner, who had gone to collect unpaid rent. The officers entered the house with the owner's key.

Earlier a police spokeswoman said an autopsy would be held Thursday and that the couple was to be bought before a city court judge Friday.

The autopsy results would not be released unless the court decides to do so, she said.

The officers spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

The U.S. Embassy in Madrid declined comment, citing a privacy regulation that prevents it from releasing information.

The U.S. State Department has said that officials are aware of the arrests and that it provides assistance when U.S. citizens are detained abroad.


Associated Press writer Alan Clendenning in Madrid contributed to this report.

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